ATF

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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

District of Minnesota

www.justice.gov/usao/mn

For Immediate Release

June 6, 2013

B. Todd Jones, United States Attorney

Contact: Jeanne F. Cooney, Director of Community Relations
(612) 664-5611
jeanne.cooney@usdoj.gov

St. Paul Felon Pleads Guilty to Possessing a Nine–Millimeter Pistol

MINNEAPOLIS — Yesterday in federal court in St. Paul, a 24–year–old felon from St. Paul pleaded guilty to possessing a nine–millimeter, semi–automatic pistol. On June 12, 2013, Virgil Lee Kirkwood specifically pleaded guilty to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Kirkwood, who was indicted on March 19, 2013, entered his plea before United States District Court Judge Paul A. Magnuson.

In his plea agreement, Kirkwood admitted that on December 6, 2012, he possessed the pistol. According to a law enforcement affidavit filed in the case, officers learned that Kirkwood was in possession of a gun and investigated in the area of 700 Central Avenue in St. Paul, Minnesota. When officers approached, they found Kirkwood, who was subsequently detained on an outstanding Anoka County warrant for an unrelated burglary. The pistol was found inside a black sock hidden near where Kirkwood was standing. Authorities later learned that the pistol was stolen from a Fridley–based licensed firearms dealer.

Because he is a felon, Kirkwood, also known as Virgil Lee Crenshaw, is prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition at any time. His prior Hennepin County convictions include second–degree burglary (2010), third–degree attempted burglary (2012), and
other offenses. Because certain of these convictions constitute crimes of violence, Kirkwood may be subject to sentencing under the federal Armed Career Criminal Act. That act mandates a minimum of 15 years in prison for anyone subsequently convicted in federal court for being a felon in possession of a firearm or ammunition. The potential maximum penalty is life in prison. Judge Magnuson will determine his sentence at a future hearing, yet to be scheduled.

This case is the result of an investigation by the St. Paul Police Department, and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Allen A. Slaughter.

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