DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Maryland

For Immediate Release

Monday, November 25, 2019
Robert K. Hur
, United States Attorney
Contact: Marcia Murphy

Eastern Shore Felon Sentenced to Five Years in Federal Prison for Illegal Possession of Stolen Firearms

Admitted Burglarizing at Least Two Gun Dealers

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasnaow today sentenced Ricky Sanabria, Jr., age 27, of Salisbury, Maryland, to five years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for possession of stolen firearms.  

 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; Wicomico County Sheriff Michael A. Lewis; Dorchester County Sheriff James W. Phillips, Jr.; and Salisbury Police Chief Barbara Duncan.

According to his guilty plea, on June 10, 2017, Sanabria burglarized a firearms store in Federalsburg, Maryland.  Surveillance video shows that Sanabria entered the store by cutting a hole into an exterior wall.  He wore a hoodie and gloves, with a mask that partially covered his face.  Sanabria stole 27 weapons from the Federalsburg firearms store, and left the scene.  Sanabria stole at least 30 weapons total.

Sanabria was not apprehended until July 16, 2017, when Nebraska state troopers arrested Sanabria for speeding on a highway in Lincoln County, Nebraska.  Sanabria initially evaded the troopers and abandoned his car, but the troopers found Sanabria in a park nearby and arrested him.  They found one of the firearms stolen from the store in Federalsburg—a .40-caliber Glock handgun—directly in front of the driver seat under the floorboard of Sanabria’s car.  Sanabria subsequently waived his rights, and admitted that he was driving the car.  On recorded jail calls, Sanabria acknowledged that the firearm was his, and that he put the firearm in the car.

Two days later, Maryland investigators executed search warrants at two houses associated with Sanabria.  At his home in Salisbury, Maryland, investigators found a 20-gauge shotgun, which was stolen during a separate burglary in August 2016.  At his parents’ home in Hebron, Maryland, investigators found an antique weapon—a Colt black powder gun—that Sanabria stole from the Federalsburg gun store during the June 2017 burglary.  Sanabria possessed both the shotgun and the antique weapon.

In addition, Sanabria’s DNA sample matched the DNA profile of blood left at the scene of another burglary of a firearms dealer in November 2016.  During that burglary, Sanabria stole two firearms—a 9 mm Glock pistol and a .22-caliber Ruger pistol.  Although investigators have only found one of those firearms, Sanabria possessed both firearms on the day they were 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, the Wicomico and Dorchester County Sheriffs’ Offices, and the Salisbury Police Department for their work in the investigation, and thanked the Nebraska State Police for its assistance.  Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon Moore, who prosecuted the case.


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Baltimore Field Division