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Press Release

Felon Caught with Narcotics and Handgun Sentenced to Nine Years in Prison for Possession of Firearm

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maryland
Defendant Possessed Fentanyl, Heroin, Cocaine, and Marijuana Upon His Arrest

Baltimore, Maryland – Yesterday U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang sentenced Eric Coleman, age 37 of Baltimore City, Maryland, to nine years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release for being a felon in possession of a firearm.  

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Acting Special Agent in Charge L.C. Cheeks, Jr. of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division; and Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department.

According to his guilty plea, on May 7, 2020, Coleman and several others were standing on a sidewalk when they were observed by Baltimore Police Department detectives patrolling in the area.  When the detectives were noticed, a lookout alerted Coleman and the others of BPD’s presence.

When the BPD detectives made a U-turn, Coleman quickly turned the right side of his body away from view, walked away from the group of other individuals, and kept his right arm stiff against his body.  The detectives believed that Coleman’s actions were consistent with the characteristics exhibited by an armed person and stopped their patrol vehicle.

As detectives exited the vehicle, Coleman began to flee on foot and eventually threw a firearm with his right arm while running.

During his apprehension and arrest, the detectives discovered a 9mm handgun in the area where he threw it, as well as an extended magazine that Coleman had dropped as he ran.  Coleman also possessed a satchel containing 42 gel caps of heroin, 33 gel caps of fentanyl, 29 glass vials of cocaine, and several bags of marijuana. 

After his arrest, Coleman placed a consensually recorded jail call in which he discussed his arrest and the handgun.  Specifically, Coleman stated “I couldn’t leave without it, yo. I told everybody that I’d rather get caught with it than without it. I got caught with it.”

As stated in his plea agreement, investigators subsequently executed search warrants on Coleman’s cellphone and social media accounts.  As a result of the search warrants, investigators located several images and videos in which Coleman possessed a handgun.  Investigators also discovered pictures and videos relating to the sale of narcotics.

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.  PSN, an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime, is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  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 Erek L. Barron commended the ATF and the Baltimore Police Department for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Barron thanked Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard P. Gallena and Assistant U.S. Attorney Patricia C. McLane, who are prosecuting the case.

For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit and

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Alexis Abbott
(301) 344-4342

Updated January 25, 2022

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses