DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Northern District of Ohio

For Immediate Release

Monday, April 4, 2022
Michelle M. Baeppler
, United States Attorney

Cleveland Man Found Guilty of Possession of Firearms and Ammunition as a Felon

Acting U.S. Attorney Michelle M. Baeppler announced that a federal jury convicted Defendant Stephon Cunningham, 43, of Cleveland, Ohio, of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition following a five-day trial before U.S. District Judge Christopher A. Boyko in Cleveland.

According to court documents, on June 1, 2019, Cleveland Police responded to a call regarding a male carrying two firearms. Police officers arrived at the scene, searched the area, and obtained two handguns, a Hi-Point 9mm caliber semi-automatic pistol, and a Smith & Wesson 9mm semi-automatic pistol, hidden underneath a tire in the backyard of a residence. Officers then interviewed witnesses who confirmed that they saw Cunningham exit a vehicle while holding both weapons. Witnesses told officers that Cunningham then walked into a backyard only to later returned without possession of the firearms.

Officers learned that both firearms were reported as stolen, and Cunningham was arrested. Cunningham’s DNA was later recovered from one of the weapons. Cunningham is prohibited from possessing a firearm due to previous convictions of drug trafficking and drug possession in the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.

Cunningham is scheduled to be sentenced on July 26, 2022. He faces a maximum possible sentence of ten years in prison.

This investigation was conducted by the ATF and Cleveland Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elizabeth M. Crook and Margaret A. Kane.

Columbus Field Division