DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, November 6, 2018
G. Zachary Terwilliger
, United States Attorney
Contact: Joshua Stueve

Violent Felon Sentenced for Possession of Firearm with Large Capacity Magazine

RICHMOND, Va. – A Richmond man was sentenced today to 51 months in prison for possession of a firearm after having been convicted of a felony.

“Toatley is exactly the type of individual who poses a serious danger to the safety of our communities and the law enforcement officers who protect us,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Toatley has a long criminal history which includes aggravated assault for shooting a person, another aggravated assault for forcing a person out of his home at gun-point, drug offenses, and false imprisonment. Along with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, we are committed to removing violent individuals like Toatley from our communities.”

According to court documents, police were called to a residence in Richmond by the occupant who said a male was threatening her and her children, the male was on his way to the caller’s home, and the male was known to carry a firearm.  When the responding officer arrived, he saw Gerald Toatley, 38, at the door of the residence.  Toatley acknowledged a conflict with the resident, but dismissed it as a “misunderstanding.”  When the officer asked for identify information, Toatley attempted to flee, but fell to the ground.  As the officer tried to assist him, Toatley threw the officer to the ground and ran.  During his flight, Toatley hid a 9mm semi-automatic pistol in a barbeque grill in a neighboring yard.  Shortly thereafter, the officer arrested Toatley, who resisted being placed in handcuffs.  The officer then recovered the firearm, which had Toatley’s DNA on it.  The Court enhanced defendant’s sentence because the gun had a large capacity magazine, capable of holding sixteen rounds of ammunition.

“Gun crime is a scourge on our communities and holds good people hostage in their own homes,” said Thomas L. Chittum, III, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) Washington Field Division. “ATF is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to take violent criminals like Gerald Toatley off our streets and put them behind bars where they belong. I hope this serves as a warning to other armed criminals that when they are caught, they will be met with swift, predictable consequences.”

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 M. Hannah Lauck. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Holli R. Wood and Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen W. Miller 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-53.

###

Washington Field Division