For Immediate Release
Suitland Felon Pleads Guilty to Illegal Possession of a Loaded Firearm
Defendant Fled from Police and in his Plea Admitted to Possessing Two Firearms Loaded with Ammunition
Greenbelt, Maryland – Avante Daquan Lee, age 28, of Suitland, Maryland, pleaded guilty yesterday to being a felon in possession of a firearm.
The guilty plea was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner; Special Agent in Charge Timothy Jones of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division; and Chief Malik Aziz of the Prince George’s County Police Department.
According to Lee’s guilty plea, on March 15, 2020, a Prince George’s County police officer observed Lee in a Temple Hills, Maryland parking lot attempting to restart a dirt bike that did not have a license plate, as required. The uniformed police officer pulled his unmarked vehicle in front of Lee, who then dropped the dirt bike and fled into a wooded area followed by the police officer, who gave Lee several verbal commands to stop.
During the chase, Lee threw a 9x19mm-caliber semi-automatic pistol into underbrush near a chain link fence. Lee stopped running when he reached the chain link fence and began to reach into his waistband. Believing that Lee was attempting to retrieve a weapon, the police officer who was pursuing Lee advised Lee that he was under arrest and ordered him to the ground.
Prince George’s County police officers who arrived on the scene during the chase saw an object fly through the air and land in the underbrush near where Lee was running. They searched the area where the object landed and recovered the pistol, which was loaded with 10 cartridges. The frame of the firearm was orange and the slide was silver. Further investigation revealed the gun had been stolen on April 25, 2016.
Lee was searched incident to his arrest and officers discovered a .40-caliber semi-automatic pistol in Lee’s left pant leg. The firearm was loaded with 10 cartridges and an additional cartridge chambered in the barrel. Two additional magazines—one loaded with 10 cartridges and the other loaded with seven cartridges—were recovered from Lee’s right front pocket.
Lee’s cellphone was also recovered from his right front pants pocket. Law enforcement subsequently obtained a search warrant for Lee’s cellphone and discovered numerous pictures and videos of Lee with firearms, including the stolen handgun Lee threw prior to his arrest, and the pistol recovered from Lee’s left pant leg when he was arrested.
Lee knew that he was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition as a result of two previous felony convictions in the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County—a 2011 conviction for robbery with a dangerous weapon and a 2017 conviction for firearm possession.
Lee faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm. U.S. District Judge Paula Xinis has scheduled sentencing for September 10, 2021 at 9:30 a.m.
Acting United States Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner commended the ATF and Prince George’s County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Lenzner thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Leah B. Grossi who is prosecuting the case.
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