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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Maryland

For Immediate Release

Monday, July 8, 2019
Robert K. Hur
, United States Attorney
Contact: Marcia Murphy

Baltimore Felon Sentenced to Nine Years in Federal Prison for Illegal Possession of a Stolen Firearm

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow today sentenced Yusef Payne, age 35, of Baltimore, Maryland, to nine years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for illegal possession of a stolen firearm.  Payne admitted that he had at least two previous felony convictions and was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Rob Cekada of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division; and Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department.

“Yusef Payne knew that as a result of his previous convictions he was prohibited from possessing guns or ammunition.  Now he faces nine years in federal prison,” said United States Attorney Robert K. Hur.  “Armed criminals must know that gun crime will lead to federal time, which has no parole—ever.  Please, put down the guns and save a life—maybe even your own.”

According to his guilty plea on October 30, 2017, Baltimore Police officers were patrolling and saw Payne, who had an open warrant from an October 15, 2017 handgun charge involving a 9mm handgun with a magazine containing ten 9mm cartridges.

When the officers pulled over to arrest Payne, he ran, discarding a handgun.  One of the officers chasing Payne retrieved the weapon, which was a different 9mm handgun with a magazine containing seven cartridges.  Payne admitted that he knew, or had cause to believe, that the gun was stolen.

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 make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the ATF and the Baltimore Police Department for their work in the investigation and thanked the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services for its assistance.  Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Joan C. Mathias, who prosecuted the case.

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Baltimore Field Division