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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 18, 2019

Felon Pleads Guilty to Federal Charges of Unlicensed Dealing in Firearms and Illegal Possession of Firearms and Ammunition

Used Social Media to Sell Guns Illegally

Baltimore, Maryland – Terrel Edward Elliott, Jr., age 24, of Baltimore, Maryland, pleaded guilty late on March 15, 2019, to unlicensed dealing in firearms and to being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition.  According to his plea agreement, Elliott was dealing in firearms less than two months after his release from prison and on a first-degree assault conviction in the Circuit Court of Maryland for Howard County.

The indictment 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; and Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department.

“Gun violence in our communities is fueled by those possessing and selling firearms illegally,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur. “Through his actions, Terrel Elliott contributed to this alarming problem of gun violence by putting firearms in the hands of people intent on violence.”     

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 suspended sentence and one year six months unsupervised probation. Elliott was also given a supervised probation period of five years.  Elliott was released after serving his sentence on September 24, 2016. 

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 women.  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.  One of the earliest photos posted on Elliot’s Instagram account was of Elliott with a gun was 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 is over 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.

Elliott faces a maximum of five years in prison for unlicensed dealing in firearms and a maximum of 10 years in prison for being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition.   U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett has scheduled sentencing for June 18, 2019 at 3:00 p.m.

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 and the Baltimore Police Department for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sandra Wilkinson and Michael Goldsticker, who are prosecuting the case.

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Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Marcia Murphy (410) 209-4854
Updated March 18, 2019