DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, September 27, 2023
Jessica D. Aber
, United States Attorney

Violent Recidivist Pleads Guilty to Being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm After Car Chase

RICHMOND, Va. – A Richmond City man pleaded guilty yesterday to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

According to court documents, on November 17, 2022, Shalik Mitchell, 30, was pulled over by Richmond Police officers during a traffic stop. Officers on routine patrol on Hull Street noticed a vehicle speeding and swerving around other motorists while failing to use a turn signal. Officers tried to catch up to the vehicle, which was still gaining separation at nearly 80 mph. The vehicle nearly veered off the roadway as it came to a stop, and officers noticed the front seat passenger making stuffing movements.

A loaded Stoeger STR-9, 9mm, semi-automatic pistol was stuffed in between the driver’s seat and center console, where Mitchell sat. At the time he possessed the pistol, Mitchell was a multiple time convicted felon and was approximately seven months into a term of supervised release for a 2019 conviction of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Mitchell was also previously convicted in 2015 by the City of Richmond Circuit Court of malicious wounding and use of a firearm in commission of a felony.

Mitchell is scheduled to be sentenced on December 21. He faces a maximum penalty of fifteen years in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Craig Kailimai, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Washington Field Division and Rick Edwards, Chief of Richmond Police, made the announcement after U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark R. Colombell accepted the plea.

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Devon Schulz and Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Anthony are prosecuting the case.

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 gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department of Justice launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities and measuring the results.


Washington Field Division