DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, October 9, 2018
G. Zachary Terwilliger
, United States Attorney
Contact: Joshua Stueve

Violent Felon Sentenced for Possessing Stolen, High Capacity Firearm

RICHMOND, Va. – A Chester man was sentenced today to 30 months in prison for possessing a stolen, high-capacity firearm after a violent felony conviction.

“Violent felons who illegally possess firearms are a threat to the safety of our law enforcement officers and the communities they serve,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “We will continue to aggressively pursue those who have forfeited their Second Amendment rights due to felony conviction, and together with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners we are zeroing in on felons who are unlawfully possessing firearms. My thanks to the ATF for their excellent work on this case.”

According to court documents, Derrick Anthony Savage, 29, was stopped on April 2 while driving through Fort Lee with a defective headlight. When officers made contact with Savage, they smelled the strong odor of burnt marijuana coming from inside the car, in which Savage was transporting four young children and their father. When officers directed Savage and the front-seat passenger to get out of the car, Savage refused and tried to stop his passenger from getting out as instructed. After officers physically removed Savage from the vehicle, he continued to resist efforts to detain him, requiring one officer to draw his Taser. A search of the car recovered a plastic bag containing 43.5 grams of marijuana, a digital scale, and a handgun loaded with a high-capacity magazine. The handgun was found under the driver’s seat, unsecured and in close proximity to the children. After the gun was recovered, Savage repeatedly stated that he had stolen it to protect himself from unspecified threats. Savage had previously been convicted of robbery, a violent felony, and was prohibited from possessing a firearm.

“Armed criminals threaten the safety of our communities, and combatting violent gun crime is ATF’s top priority,” said Thomas L. Chittum, III, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) Washington Field Division. “We are committed to working with our law enforcement partners to catch those who illegally possess firearms and put them behind bars where they belong.”

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Thomas L. Chittum, III, 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 John A. Gibney, Jr. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kaitlin G. Cooke 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 is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:18-cr-54.

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Field Division: Washington Field Division