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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Virginia

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, July 9, 2019
G. Zachary Terwilliger
, United States Attorney
Contact: Joshua Stueve

Man Sentenced for Attempt to Sell Firearm and Bulletproof Vest

RICHMOND, Va. – A Richmond man was sentenced today to nine and a half years in prison for possessing and attempting to sell a 9mm pistol with an obliterated serial number and a bulletproof vest. 

“Criminals typically remove serial numbers from guns to make them harder to trace, so they can be used in future crimes,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Coupled with the bulletproof vest, Jones attempted to introduce to the community the necessary materials intended to commit serious acts of violence. My sincere thanks to our local and federal law enforcement partners for their effort in making our streets safer with the successful prosecution of this felon.”

According to court documents, Dominic Jones, 29, agreed to sell a firearm and a bulletproof vest for $500 to a confidential informant working for the ATF. In August 2018, Jones arrived by vehicle to meet the informant in the 1900 block of Mechanicsville Turnpike of Richmond, to make the sale.  Upon Jones’s arrival, Richmond Police officers located Jones sitting in the backseat of a vehicle, approached the vehicle, and asked Jones to step out. As Jones exited the vehicle, RPD officers immediately noticed in plain view a firearm at Jones’s feet.

RPD officers recovered the firearm and determined it to be a Taurus, model PT111, 9mm caliber, semi-automatic pistol, with an obliterated serial number. On the seat next to Jones, RPD officers recovered a black bag containing a bulletproof vest. A records check revealed Jones as a convicted felon and he was placed under arrest. A search of Jones revealed a syringe of suspected heroin. RPD officers later recovered multiple text messages from Jones’s cellphone to the confidential informant setting up the sale of the firearm.   

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, and William C. Smith, Interim Chief of Richmond Police, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge M. Hannah Lauck. Assistant U.S. Attorney Erik S. Siebert 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 are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:19-cr-17.

Washington Field Division