DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Maryland

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, May 21, 2019
Robert K. Hur
, United States Attorney
Contact: Marcia Murphy

Felon Pleads Guilty to Possession of a Stolen Firearm

If Court Accepts His Plea, Defendant Faces Nine Years in Federal Prison

Greenbelt, Maryland – Yusef Payne, age 35, of Baltimore, Maryland, pleaded guilty yesterday to possession of a stolen firearm. Payne admitted that he had at least two previous felony convictions and was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition.
The guilty plea 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; and Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department.
“Armed criminals must know that gun crime will lead to federal time, which has no parole—ever,” said United States Attorney Robert K. Hur. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to remove those who would commit violence from our community. Please, put down the guns and save a life—maybe even your own.”
According to his guilty plea on October 30, 2017, Baltimore Police officers were patrolling and saw Payne, who had an open warrant from an October 15, 2017 handgun charge involving a 9mm handgun with a magazine containing ten 9mm cartridges.
When the officers pulled over to arrest Payne, he ran, discarding a handgun. One of the officers chasing Payne retrieved the weapon, which was a different 9mm handgun with a magazine containing seven cartridges. Payne admitted that he knew, or had cause to believe, that the gun was stolen.
Payne and the government have agreed that if the Court accepts the plea agreement, Payne will be sentenced to nine years in federal prison. U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow has scheduled sentencing for July 8, 2019, at 10:00 a.m.
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 and the Baltimore Police Department for their work in the investigation and thanked the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services for its assistance. Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Joan C. Mathias, who is prosecuting the case.
Baltimore Field Division