For Immediate Release
Friday, February 15, 2019
, United States Attorney
G. Zachary Terwilliger
Contact: Joshua Stueve
Felon Sentenced to Prison for Possession of Firearm
Washington Field Division
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A previously convicted felon was sentenced today to over three years in prison for possessing a firearm.
“Convicted felons who possess a firearm will be held accountable and prosecuted,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “We remain steadfast in our commitment to removing guns from the hands of criminals as they present a real danger to the safety of our law enforcement partners and members of the communities they serve.”
According to court documents, in May 2018, Newport News Police officers attempted a traffic stop on a vehicle that did not use a turn signal. The vehicle later pulled over and officers observed Kenneth S. Pressley, 43, exit the passenger side of the vehicle, clutching both of his hands at the center of his waistband and flee on foot. An officer followed Pressley to the backyard of the residence, and observed him bent over at the waist and heard a firearm discharge. The officer gave Pressley verbal commands, but Pressley continued to flee from the officer for a short distance. Pressley ultimately complied and was taken into custody, and officers later recovered a Glock 23 .40 caliber handgun containing 12 rounds of ammunition, as well as the bullet Pressley discharged on scene.
“The men and women of ATF work tirelessly day in and day out, along with our law enforcement partners, to rid our streets of illegal guns and violent crime and those who jeopardize the safety of our citizens and communities,” said Ashan M. Benedict, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) Washington Field Division. “Be assured, if you use guns to commit violence, we are coming for you.”
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, Steve R. Drew, Chief of Newport News Police, made the announcement after sentencing by Chief U.S. District Judge Mark S. Davis. Assistant U.S. Attorney Megan M. Cowles 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 is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 4:18-cr-71.