For Immediate Release
Federal Grand Jury in Maryland Charges Virginia Man for Illegal Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition
Defendant Allegedly Threatened Victims With a Gun as They Drove on I-495 and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway
Greenbelt, Maryland – A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging Lavar William Henderson, age 44, of Richmond, Virginia, for the federal charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. The indictment was returned on November 16, 2022. Henderson was arrested on related state charges on November 16, 2022, and had an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt yesterday on the federal indictment. Henderson consented to detention pending trial.
The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge Toni M. Crosby of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division; Acting Chief Christopher Stock of the U.S. Park Police, and Colonel Woodrow W. Jones III, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police.
According to his indictment and court documents, on October 26, 2022, Henderson illegally possessed a 9mm pistol, loaded with 14 rounds of ammunition. On that day, officers with the U.S. Park Police were alerted to be on the lookout for a black Jaguar being driven by a man wearing a red hat, who was pointing a firearm with a red laser at other motorists. A vehicle matching that description passed a crash scene and officers at the scene followed, then conducted a traffic stop of the vehicle. Henderson was arrested.
As detailed in court documents, a 9mm pistol, loaded with 14 rounds of ammunition, was located in the vehicle. Additional investigation revealed that the firearm was equipped with a red laser and was previously reported stolen from Henrico County, Virginia in 2014. Officers with the United States Park Police and the Maryland State Police conducted interviews with four victims who alleged that Henderson pointed his gun at them while driving that morning, before Henderson’s arrest on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. Court documents further allege that Henderson yelled at the victims, and either beat on, or caused damage to, the victims’ vehicles.
If convicted, Henderson faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
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 gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.
United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the ATF, the U.S. Park Police, and the Maryland State Police for their work in the investigation. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney LaShanta Harris and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Kibbe, who are prosecuting the case.
For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/project-safe-neighborhoods-psnexile and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.
# # #