DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Dana J. Boente
, United States Attorney
Contact: Joshua Stueve

Previously Convicted Felon Found Guilty of Possession of Firearms

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Josiah John Weiss, 36, of Suitland, Maryland, was convicted today by a federal jury on charges of possession of firearms as a convicted felon.

Weiss was indicted on Dec. 10, 2015. According to court records and evidence presented at trial, on April 25, 2015, Weiss purchased two semiautomatic pistols and an AR-15 rifle, along with magazines and gun cases for each, from a private seller at The Nation’s Gun Show in Chantilly. Weiss was observed doing so by Special Agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Due to his suspicious behavior, he was followed by ATF agents as he drove away from the parking lot of the Dulles Expo Center, where the gun show was being held.  When Weiss discovered that he was being followed, he began driving erratically and at high speeds and eventually eluded the agents.  Later that day agents executed a search warrant at an apartment Weiss had been living in at the time in Alexandria. Neither Weiss nor the three firearms were found there.  Law enforcement remained unaware of Weiss’ whereabouts until Nov. 10, 2015, when he was arrested outside one of his two apartments in Suitland. Despite a search of those two apartments, the firearms were not recovered. Weiss had been convicted of aggravated identity theft and passport fraud, both felonies, in 2011, and thus was prohibited from possessing firearms. 
 
Weiss faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison when sentenced on May 27, 2016.  The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Michael F. Boxler, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) Washington Field Division, made the announcement after the verdict was accepted by U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Carina A. Cuellar and Michael E. Rich are prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:15-cr-354

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Field Division: Washington Field Division