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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Maryland

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Baltimore Felon Sentenced To 15 Years In Federal Prison On Charges Of Unlicensed Dealing In Firearms And Illegal Possession Of Firearms And Ammunition

Used Social Media to Sell Guns Illegally, Including to Minors

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced Terrel Edward Elliott, Jr., age 24, of Baltimore, Maryland, today to 15 years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for unlicensed dealing in firearms and for being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition.  Elliott admitted that he was dealing in firearms less than two months after his release from prison for a first-degree assault conviction in Howard County.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Rob Cekada of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division; Chief Lisa D. Myers of the Howard County Police Department; and Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department.

“Terrel Elliott contributed to our community’s alarming problem of gun violence by putting firearms in the hands of people intent on violence,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur. “Statistics show that gun violence is fueled by repeat offenders, like Terrel Elliott, illegally possessing and selling firearms. Now he will spend 15 years in federal prison, where there are no suspended sentences and no parole—ever.  Put down the guns and save a life—maybe even your own.”

According to his plea agreement, Elliott was convicted of first-degree assault in Howard County and was sentenced to eight years in prison, with six years and a half years of that sentence suspended, and eighteen months of unsupervised probation. Elliott was also given a supervised probation period of five years.  Elliott was released after serving his sentence on September 24, 2016. 

As detailed in his plea agreement, Elliott was arrested on April 14, 2017 in possession of drugs, 14 .22-caliber bullets and a handgun with an obliterated serial number.  On November 13, 2017, Elliott pleaded guilty in Howard County to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.  On February 12, 2018, Baltimore Police officers were surveilling Elliott, who had an open warrant for his arrest, when they saw him leave his residence and get into a car with a woman.  Officers performed a traffic stop to execute the arrest warrant, but Elliott ran away.  Officers gave chase and Elliott was captured at the back door of his residence and arrested.  Officers recovered a handgun from the path Elliott took.

During the ensuing investigation, law enforcement obtained a search warrant for Elliott’s Instagram account.  Law enforcement recovered multiple photographs of Elliott in possession of numerous firearms, as well as Instagram messages with prospective firearm customers, including juveniles and family members.  One of the earliest photos posted on Elliot’s Instagram account was of Elliott with a gun on November 8, 2016—less than two months after he was released from prison.  In January 2018, Elliott sold a gun to a minor and later messages reflect the discussion of more gun sales to the minor.  Elliott’s Instagram posts include more than 4,700 pages and contains numerous references to selling guns for profit.  Elliott admitted that between eight and 24 firearms were involved in his offenses, and that he knew or had reason to believe that the guns would be used or possessed in connection with other felonies, including robberies and drug trafficking.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the ATF, the Howard County Police Department, and the Baltimore Police Department for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sandra Wilkinson and Michael Goldsticker, who prosecuted the case.

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Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Component(s): 
Updated June 18, 2019