DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Distict of Maryland

For Immediate Release

Monday, August 3, 2015
Rod J. Rosenstein
, United States Attorney
Contact: AUSA Vickie LeDuc or Marcia Murphy

Capitol Heights Man Exiled to 17 Years in Prison for Gun and Drug Offenses

Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Paul W. Grimm sentenced Jay Maurice Tharps, age 33, of Capitol Heights, Maryland, today to 17 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Judge Grimm found that Tharps was a career offender based on three drug and gun convictions.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge William P. McMullan of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - Baltimore Field Division; Chief Mark A. Magaw of the Prince George’s County Police Department; and Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela D. Alsobrooks.

According to his plea agreement, on April 11, 2013, Prince George’s County police officers executed a search warrant at Tharps’ residence and seized a loaded handgun with an obliterated serial number; a loaded semi-automatic pistol with an obliterated serial number; another loaded semi-automatic pistol that had been reported stolen; a loaded revolver; a semi-automatic rifle which was found near a high capacity loaded magazine; numerous ammunition; 84 grams of marijuana; and 15 grams of cocaine. Prior to this time, Tharps had been convicted of three felonies for drug and gun violations, and was thus prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the ATF, Prince George’s County Police Department and Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney Thomas M. Sullivan, who prosecuted the case.

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Field Division: Baltimore Field Division