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Press Release

Felon Sentenced to Over 6 Years in Federal Prison for Illegal Possession of a Firearm

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maryland

Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge George J. Hazel sentenced Zeb Zachariah Wilson, age 29, of Mount Jackson, Virginia, on June 25, 2018 to 76 months in 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 Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Rob Cekada of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division; Chief J. Thomas Manger of the Montgomery County Police Department, and Colonel William H. Pallozzi, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police.

 According to his plea agreement, on June 7, 2016, a Montgomery County Police officer saw Wilson driving a Volkswagen Jetta with an expired registration.  The officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop.  Wilson refused to stop the vehicle, leading to a pursuit that ended with Wilson crashing through the gate at Asbury Methodist Village and into a tree.  Wilson and a passenger then ran away into a wooded area.  With the assistance of a K-9 officer and a Maryland State Police helicopter, Wilson was located in a stream under a log.  A search of Wilson after his arrest revealed that he possessed packets of the drug Suboxone. 

Montgomery County Police Department officers also saw a handgun in the car Wilson was driving, next to the driver’s seat beside the center console.  The handgun, a .380-caliber semi-automatic pistol with an obliterated serial number, was recovered.  The Montgomery County Firearms Examination Unit was able to partially restore the serial number, which revealed that the handgun was stolen.  The Jetta was also found to have been stolen in Harrisonburg, Virginia on June 2, 2016, and the license plates on the vehicle did not belong to the Jetta.  A search of the vehicle recovered multiple stolen items related to ongoing cases in Shenandoah, Virginia, including a 12-gauge shotgun.  Law enforcement also recovered 50 rounds of ammunition and a receipt from a Germantown, Maryland retailer indicating that the ammunition had been purchased after the vehicle was stolen.

At the time of the crime, Wilson was on probation in Virginia for a previous felony conviction, and was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition due to that and other felony convictions.

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.  Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally based strategies to reduce violent crime.

United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the ATF, the Montgomery County Police Department, and the Maryland State Police for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Ray D. McKenzie, who prosecuted the case.



Marcia Murphy
(410) 209-4854

Updated June 26, 2018

Project Safe Neighborhoods