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Press Release

Grand Rapids Man Sentenced To 12 Years In Prison After Shooting Near Southeast Grand Rapids High School

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

          GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — U.S. Attorney Mark Totten for the Western District of Michigan announced today that U.S. District Judge Robert J. Jonker sentenced Donte Matthews to 120 months in prison for possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and other drugs within 1,000 feet of a public high school. Matthews was on supervised release for a previous federal offense and Judge Jonker imposed an additional 30 months to be served consecutively for violating the terms of his supervision.

          “Gun violence and illegal drugs like fentanyl are devastating to our communities,” said U.S. Attorney Mark Totten.  “It is also particularly troubling that a shooting and drug trafficking occurred near a school. My office is committed to enforcing federal gun and drug laws to hold offenders accountable and protect our communities.”

          In the early morning of August 12, 2022, Grand Rapids Police Department officers were patrolling southeast Grand Rapids when they heard multiple gunshots.  The officers drove in the direction of the shooting and saw a white Chevrolet Suburban spin out and crash in the parking lot of Southeast Career Pathways, a Grand Rapids public high school.  As police approached, additional shots were fired.  Officers observed two subjects flee the Suburban on foot after the crash. The defendant, Donte Matthews, exited the driver’s side of the vehicle and was apprehended attempting to climb a fence.  At the time, Matthews was on supervised release for a prior federal drug trafficking charge.  In his waistband, police found a stolen Springfield XD 9 mm pistol, which had only two rounds in it: one in the magazine and one in the chamber. Crime scene technicians found twelve spent 9 mm casings in the street from which Matthews’s vehicle had travelled and where officers first heard the shooting. Inside the crashed vehicle that Matthews had been driving, police found bags containing fentanyl, cocaine, and a digital scale.

          The Grand Rapids Police Department and Drug Enforcement Administration investigated the case.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Vito S. Solitro.


Updated May 25, 2023

Violent Crime
Drug Trafficking