For Immediate Release
Baltimore Felon Pleads Guilty to Federal Charge for Illegal Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition
Baltimore, Maryland – Robert Hopewell, age 27, of Baltimore, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to a federal charge for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge Toni M. Crosby of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division; and Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department.
According to his guilty plea, on February 8, 2022, Baltimore Police Department officers performed a traffic stop after noticing that a vehicle, later found to be driven by Hopewell, had and illegally tinted windshield. After stopping the car, officers noted a strong odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle and ordered Hopewell to exit the vehicle. A search of the vehicle revealed shavings of suspected marijuana on the front passenger side of the vehicle and a plastic bag of suspected cocaine on the front driver’s side floorboard. In the backseat area, the detectives noticed that the rear plastic plate cover for the center console appeared to be loose and readily removable. Once the plate cover was removed, the detectives recovered a 9mm caliber pistol loaded with approximately 17 rounds of 9mm ammunition. Hopewell admitted that he knew he was prohibited from possessing a firearm and ammunition as a result of a previous felony conviction.
Hopewell and the government have agreed that, if the Court accepts the plea agreement, Hopewell will be sentenced to no more than 78 months in federal prison. Chief U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar has scheduled sentencing for June 6, 2023 at 10:00 a.m.
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 gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.
United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the ATF and the Baltimore Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Barron thanked Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Tsuei, who is prosecuting the case.
For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/project-safe-neighborhoods-psn and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.
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