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Press Release

Lynchburg Man Sentenced on Federal Gun Charge

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Virginia
Shawn Preston Previously admitted to Illegally Possessing a Firearm

LYNCHBURG, VIRGINIA – A Lynchburg man, who illegally possessed a firearm after being a previously convicted felon, was sentenced today in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Lynchburg, United States Attorney John P. Fishwick Jr. announced today.

Shawn Vernol Preston, 54, of Lynchburg, previously pled guilty to one count of unlawful transport of a firearm. Today in District Court, Preston was sentenced to 72 months in federal prison and three years of supervised release thereafter.

“From the moment I took office as the United States Attorney I have made it a priority to work with our law enforcement partners to get illegal guns off our streets and out of our communities,” United States Attorney Fishwick said today. “Individuals who are prohibited from possessing firearms must not be allowed to possess weapons, period. When they do, our communities are less safe and law enforcement must get involved.”

According to evidence presented at previous hearings by United States Attorney John P. Fishwick Jr., on December 18, 2015 at around 7:30 p.m., Preston was approached by a Lynchburg police officer after he matched the physical description of someone who was reported to be seen with a gun. When Preston was approached by the officer, he refused to be patted down and eventually took off running.

A foot chase ensued and the Lynchburg police officer observed Preston reach into the front waistband of his pants and pull out a pistol with a silver slide. Preston ran behind a row of houses. The officer did not pursue him because she was alone and the lighting was poor. After additional units arrived, Preston emerged from behind the houses without the gun. He was arrested and placed in handcuffs. After searching behind the homes where Preston ran, another officer with the Lynchburg Police Department located a loaded, .45 silver pistol with a black grip lying on the ground.

The investigation of the case was conducted by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Lynchburg Police Department. United States Attorney John P. Fishwick Jr. and Assistant United States Attorney Christopher Kavanaugh prosecuted the case for the United States.

Updated November 15, 2016

Firearms Offenses