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Press Release

Prince George’s County Suspect Faces Federal Gun Charge

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maryland
Defendant Who Allegedly Belittled State Sentence Now Faces Federal Time

Greenbelt, Maryland – Quinton Darnell McLean, age 21, of Washington, D.C., has been charged by federal criminal complaint with being a felon in possession of a firearm.  The criminal complaint was filed on February 29, 2016, and McLean has an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt today at 2:40 p.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge William Connelly. 

The charges were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge William P. McMullan of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - Baltimore Field Division; Chief Hank Stawinski of the Prince George’s County Police Department; and Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela D. Alsobrooks.

“Criminals who are not deterred from carrying guns by the threat of prison time can be deterred by the reality of years spent in a federal prison far from home,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “Police and prosecutors are working to identify armed criminals who deserve to be charged in federal court.”

According to the affidavit filed in support of his criminal complaint, on February 12, 2016, McLean was traveling with two other men in a green Saturn on the Suitland Parkway.  Officers with the Prince George’s Police Department Washington Area Vehicle Enforcement Team (WAVE) conducted a query of the temporary registration on the Saturn, which revealed that the tag was issued for a 1987 Mercedes Benz.  Officers followed the vehicle, which pulled into a carwash on Branch Avenue in Temple Hills, Maryland.

The driver of the Saturn pulled the vehicle into the carwash bay and began washing the car while McLean and the other occupant stood outside the entrance to the carwash bay.  One of the officers, whose unmarked car was next in line for the wash bay behind the green Saturn, saw McLean adjusting his waistband and clutching the right side of his waistband as he stood outside the carwash bay.  The officer knew that McLean’s behavior was indicative of an armed person, and believed that McLean had a firearm in his waistband.  The officer frisked McLean for weapons and recovered a loaded .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol that was tucked in the right front side of McLean’s waistband area.  McLean was arrested. While in custody, McLean made several calls from jail.  During these conversations, which are recorded by the detention center, McLean made several statements, including, “Maryland time is cheap as s**t.”   McLean has a previous felony conviction and is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition.   

McLean faces a sentence of 10 years in prison for being a felon in possession of a gun.  There is no probation or parole in the federal criminal justice system.

As part of the coordinated state effort to reduce violent crime, the Prince George’s County Police Department, ATF, FBI, DEA, HSI, U.S. Marshals Service, the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office, and the United States Attorney’s Office, review cases of defendants arrested for firearms violations, drug offenses and other violent crimes, and evaluate whether the case should be considered for federal prosecution. Prosecutors evaluate each defendant’s criminal record, the circumstances of the arrest and other relevant information. 

A criminal complaint is not a finding of guilt.  An individual charged by criminal complaint is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings. 

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the ATF, Prince George’s County Police Department and Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Rosenstein thanked Special Assistant United States Attorney Matthew L. Paeffgen, who is prosecuting the case.

Updated March 8, 2016

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