DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Virginia

For Immediate Release

Friday, April 26, 2019

Convicted Felon Sentenced to Prison for Possessing Firearm

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – An Alexandria man was sentenced today to more than six years in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
 
“A convicted felon in possession of a firearm poses a serious danger to the safety of our communities and the law enforcement officers who protect us,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Harris has an extensive criminal record and in this case he fired multiple rounds into an occupied apartment and engaged police officers in an armed standoff. Due to their bravery and skilled police work, the officers were able to diffuse the potentially deadly situation and bring Harris to justice. My sincere thanks and gratitude to our local law enforcement partners and their efforts to help us remove dangerous individuals like Harris from our community.”
 
According to court documents, in September 2018, Charles Lorenzo Harris, 54, unlawfully possessed and fired a Springfield Armory pistol in an occupied apartment in Alexandria. After firing multiple shots inside an apartment, Harris exited the apartment building holding the pistol in his hand and was confronted by officers of the Fairfax County Police Department. After an approximately 30 minute armed standoff, police were able to disarm and arrest Harris. Law enforcement later found bullet holes in the walls and ceiling of the apartment Harris was visiting, and recovered a bullet from the apartment above the apartment Harris was visiting.
 
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), which 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.
 
G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Ashan M. Benedict, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) Washington Field Division, and Colonel Edwin C. Roessler Jr., Fairfax County Chief of Police, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica Kraft and Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas U. Murphy II prosecuted the case.
 
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:19-cr-28.
 
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Washington Field Division