DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Minnesota

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, July 18, 2023
Andrew M. Luger
, United States Attorney

Maple Grove Felon Sentenced to Prison for Illegal Possession of Ammunition

MINNEAPOLIS – A Maple Grove man has been sentenced to 30 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for illegal possession of ammunition, announced United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger.

According to court documents, in January of 2022, Cortez Ward, 20, and his brother, Quantez Ward, 20, were both charged in Hennepin County District Court for possession of machineguns after they brought to the funeral of a known gang member firearms that had each been modified with auto sears. An auto sear, also known as a switch, is a device used to convert a semi-automatic firearm into a fully automatic firearm and is considered a machinegun under federal law. In the spring of 2022, both Cortez and Quantez Ward pleaded guilty to their Hennepin County charges and were released on terms of probation.

On May 6, 2022, Cortez Ward and his brother were pulled over by the Maple Grove police department. During that traffic stop, Cortez Ward was in possession of an unserialized Polymer 80 pistol with a large-capacity magazine loaded with 19 rounds of ammunition on his person. Quantez Ward had an AK-style gun in a backpack in the car. On July 19, 2022, law enforcement executed a federal arrest warrant at the Ward brothers’ residence. Inside, law enforcement found multiple firearms, including a 9mm Ruger rifle, a H&K MP5 rifle and a Polymer 80 pistol with a switch.

Cortez Ward was sentenced yesterday before Senior Judge David S. Doty. On April 25, 2023, Quantez Ward was sentenced to 30 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Minneapolis Police Department, and the Maple Grove Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lindsey E. Middlecamp prosecuted the case.

St. Paul Field Division