For Immediate Release
Two Men Sentenced to Prison for Firearms Conspiracy
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Two Washington, D.C. area men were sentenced to nearly four years in prison combined for their roles in a firearm trafficking conspiracy.
“Giles and Pearce went to extraordinary lengths to illegally traffic dozens of firearms from Virginia to Maryland and Washington, D.C.,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “EDVA has made a commitment to do all we can to attack straw purchasing and firearms trafficking across the Commonwealth and in the National Capital Region. This case is proof positive of the resources we have dedicated and will continue to surge to fight this dangerous conduct.”
According to court documents, Darius Antonio Giles, 22, and his half-brother Daryl Antonio Pearce, 22, conspired together to travel from Maryland and Washington, D.C.—where they resided—to Virginia to acquire firearms with the intent to engage in the business of dealing firearms. During the course of this conspiracy, Pearce and Giles purchased well over 33 firearms within the Eastern District of Virginia and elsewhere. After they purchased these firearms, they transported them from Virginia to Maryland and Washington, D.C., where Pearce and Giles resold the firearms to various individuals for profit. Seventeen of the firearms have been recovered by law enforcement in Washington, D.C. and Maryland, including from a convicted felon. Giles was arrested in February following a controlled firearm buy with undercover ATF agents.
“Those who buy guns to sell them illegally in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere, as Giles and Pearce did here, are not simply committing paperwork violations. These criminals are providing an iron pipeline of potentially lethal weapons to individuals who are prohibited under the law from possessing firearms,” said Ashan M. Benedict, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) Washington Field Division. “We will therefore continue to vigorously pursue and arrest anyone involved in the illegal trafficking of firearms to protect our communities.”
Giles was sentenced to more than two and half years in prison, and Pearce was sentenced to more than a year in prison.
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, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Joel H. Feil and Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas U. Murphy II 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. 1:19-cr-139.