For Immediate Release
Two Felons Sentenced to Respectively to 96 and 78 Months in Prison of Illegal Possession of a Firearm
ST. PAUL, Minn. – Two men have been sentenced for illegal possession of firearms, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Charles J. Kovats.
Jarvae Josiah Somerville, 28, of White Bear Lake, and Ronald Donte Finley, Jr., 26, of Minneapolis, were both convicted on August 26, 2021, of one count each of illegal possession of a firearm, following a three-day jury trial before U.S. District Judge Paul A. Magnuson. The defendants were sentenced yesterday to 96 months and 78 months in prison, respectively. Both men were sentenced to three years of supervised release that will begin upon their release from prison.
“The staggering spike in gun violence throughout the Twin Cities must end,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Charles J. Kovats. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office remains steadfast in our commitment to hold accountable individuals who put public safety at risk.”
According to court documents, Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) officers investigating a shooting followed Somerville and Finley to a restaurant on Lake Street in Minneapolis. While Somerville was inside the restaurant and Finley was outside in an Infinity sedan that the men were driving, officers moved in to make an arrest. When officers approached Finley, Finley ran from the Infinity sedan but was apprehended and arrested. Inside the Infiniti sedan, officers found a Sig Sauer 9mm semi-automatic pistol with an extended magazine. When officers entered the restaurant and attempted to arrest Somerville, Somerville ran inside a private bathroom in the back of the restaurant. Two officers chasing Somerville followed Somerville inside, and Somerville reached into his waistband. Concerned that Somerville was reaching for a firearm, an officer grabbed Somerville’s hands, and the three men struggled until other officers arrived to assist. After Somerville was handcuffed and taken into custody, officers recovered from the floor of the bathroom a Glock, .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun with an extended magazine.
After the arrests, officers executed a search warrant at Somerville’s residence and found a box of .45 caliber ammunition the same model of which was found in the firearm found in the bathroom. Officers also found a gun cleaning kit. Investigators later confirmed that Finley’s fingerprints were present on the magazine of the 9mm pistol found in the Infiniti sedan.
Because Somerville has prior felony convictions in Hennepin County and Finley has prior felony convictions in Cook County, Illinois, they are prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition at any time.
This case is being 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.
This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Minneapolis Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Calhoun-Lopez prosecuted the case.