DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Maryland

For Immediate Release

Thursday, July 1, 2021
Jonathan F. Lenzner
, United States Attorney

Felon Sentenced to Four Years in Federal Prison for Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition

9mm Handgun Fell Out of Rucker’s Waistband During Struggle with Police

Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Paul W. Grimm sentenced Claude Avery Rucker, age 31, of Capitol Heights, Maryland to four years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. 

The sentence was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner; Special Agent in Charge Timothy Jones of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division; and Chief Malik Aziz of the Prince George’s County Police Department.

According to his plea agreement, on December 11, 2019, Prince George’s County Police Department officers received a call reporting a parked vehicle in Capitol Heights, Maryland. As officers arrived on the scene, officers observed a silver vehicle parked with it’s low beams on.  There were no other vehicles with lights on at the scene.

As officers approached Rucker, the driver and sole occupant of the vehicle, one officer smelled the odor of marijuana emitting from Rucker.  When asked if he lived in the area, Rucker informed police that his uncle lived at one of the near-by residences.  When law enforcement asked Rucker to provide identification, Rucker was unable to do so.  Officers then asked Rucker to step out of the vehicle, at which time Rucker asked to call his uncle.

As Rucker exited the vehicle, Rucker shoved one law enforcement officer and attempted to flee on foot.  Officers struggled with Rucker near the trunk of the vehicle as Rucker repeatedly reached for his waistband area and refused to comply with officers’ commands to place his hands behind his back.

As officers placed Rucker into handcuffs, a Glock Model 19 9mm handgun loaded with 15 rounds of 9mm ammunition fell from Rucker’s waistband. Law enforcement performed a search incident to the arrest that recovered approximately 15.4 grams of marijuana from Rucker’s right jacket pocket.

Prior to December 11, 2019, Rucker had been previously convicted of a crime punishable by a term exceeding one year and his civil rights had not been restored.

Acting United States Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner praised the ATF and Prince George’s County Police Department for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Lenzner thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Dwight J. Draughon and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig G. Fansler, who prosecuted the case.

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Baltimore Field Division