For Immediate Release
Grand Rapids Man Sentenced to Ten Years in Prison for Illegally Possessing and Selling Guns
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan Mark Totten announced today that Anthony Darnell Patterson, 29, of Grand Rapids was sentenced to ten years in federal prison for illegally possessing and selling guns. Chief U.S. District Judge Hala Y. Jarbou also ordered Patterson to spend three years on supervised release following his confinement.
“My office is committed to improving the safety of our communities,” said U.S. Attorney Mark Totten. “We will continue to get guns off of our streets by prosecuting the unlawful possession of firearms and disrupting networks of illegal gun sales.”
On four occasions between October and December 2021, Patterson—a convicted felon with a history of drug and firearm convictions—sold or coordinated the sale of guns, for cash, to a confidential informant working for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (“ATF”). Several of those firearms had been reported stolen. The ATF also determined, based on ballistics analyses, that two of the guns Patterson sold were involved in shootings in Grand Rapids in October 2020 and July 2021.
In announcing Patterson’s sentence, Chief Judge Jarbou noted that Patterson’s conduct contributed to an “epidemic of guns.” Chief Judge Jarbou said that the “action of selling guns to people that should not have them quickly and automatically leads to violent incidents.” Chief Judge Jarbou also said that those who sell guns are “perpetrators of the violent acts” that their buyers commit.
“Today’s sentencing is an important component to the reduction in violent firearms related crimes,” said, Acting Special Agent in Charge Craig Kailimai, “We are proud of the collaborative effort with the U.S. Attorney’s office, our federal, state of Michigan, and local partners ultimately protecting our communities from violent threats.”
This case was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (“PSN”) Program, 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.
ATF investigated this case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Townshend prosecuted it.