For Immediate Release
Baltimore Felon Sentenced to Almost Five Years in Federal Prison for Illegal Possession of a Firearm
Two Other Defendants Plead Guilty to Illegal Possession of a Firearm in a School Zone
Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander today sentenced Steven McCullough, age 36, of Baltimore, Maryland, to 58 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for being a felon in possession of a firearm an ammunition.
The sentence was announced by Erek L. Barron, United States Attorney for the District of Maryland; 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.
“Our strategy of preventing violence by removing illegal guns and repeat offenders from the streets by any legal means necessary is paying off,” said United States Attorney Erek L. Barron. “As of today, homicides in Baltimore are down more than 17% from last year and non-fatal shootings are down nearly 20%. We remain laser-focused on reducing violent crime in Baltimore and throughout the state.”
According to his guilty plea, on December 3, 2020, McCullough posted a video of himself on social media, which shows him approaching a vehicle holding a black handgun. Baltimore Police officers saw the video, recognized that McCullough was in the 1200 block of North Luzerne Avenue and responded to that location. Officers located McCullough, wearing the same gray sweatshirt and sweatpants as in the video, and attempted to place him under arrest. McCullough ran, pulling a black firearm from his sweatshirt pocket. A short distance later, McCullough tripped, with the gun still in his hand, and tossed the firearm out of his reach. McCullough was arrested and the gun, a 10mm pistol was recovered. The handgun was loaded with one round of 10mm jacketed hollow point ammunition in the chamber but was missing a magazine. A canvass of the path of pursuit recovered a magazine loaded with nine rounds of 10mm ammunition identical to the round found in the gun. McCullough was searched and officers also recovered approximately 36 vials containing a total of approximately 40 grams of cocaine for distribution. McCullough admitted that he knew he has a previous felony conviction and was prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition.
In two separate cases last week, defendants pleaded guilty to illegal possession of a firearm in a school zone. Terrence Johnson, age 23, of Baltimore, posted a video on social media showing him driving a car with a black and brown handgun between the center console and the driver’s seat. Johnson was located within 1,000 feet of Green Street Academy and detectives recovered the gun, a 9mm semi-automatic pistol loaded with eight rounds of 9mm ammunition from Johnson’s waistband. Johnson was sentenced to six months in federal prison and ordered to forfeit the gun and ammunition.
In the second case, Gerald Dean, age 31, of Baltimore, was found by BPD officers asleep in a car with the lights on and the engine running. The pink handle of a handgun was seen protruding from under the armrest of the center console. Officers opened the door, secured Dean, and recovered the handgun from under the armrest of the center console. Dean was searched and officers recovered eight small green containers of crack cocaine, four small black containers of heroin, sixteen pills of methamphetamine, and one sublingual strip. At the time, Dean was within 1,000 feet of the grounds of a school zone, specifically Katherine Johnson Global Academy (formerly Calverton Elementary/Middle School). Dean will be sentenced on July 27, 2023.
These cases are 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 these investigations. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Martin J. Clarke and Brandon K. Moore, who prosecuted the McCullough case and thanked Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys Liane Kozik and Jonathan Tsuei, who prosecuted the Johnson and Dean cases, respectively.
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.