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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Minnesota
Andrew M. Luger, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Twin Brothers Plead Guilty to Illegal Possession of a Firearm, Ammunition

MINNEAPOLIS –Twin brothers Quantez Demarco Ward and Cortez Demario Ward, age 19, have pleaded guilty to illegal possession of a firearm and illegal possession of ammunition, respectively, announced United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger.

According to court documents, in January of 2022, the brothers were both charged in Hennepin County District Court for possession of machineguns after they were caught in possession of firearms that had each been modified with auto sears. An auto sear, also known as a switch, is a device used to convert a semi-automatic firearm into a fully automatic firearm and is considered a machinegun under federal law. In May, both Cortez and Quantez Ward pleaded guilty to their Hennepin County charges and were released on terms of probation.

On May 6, 2022, the brothers were pulled over by the Maple Grove police department. During that traffic stop, Cortez Ward was in possession of a Polymer 80 pistol with an extended magazine loaded with 19 rounds of ammunition on his person. On July 19, 2022, law enforcement executed a federal arrest warrant at the Ward brothers’ residence. Inside, law enforcement found multiple firearms, including a 9mm Ruger rifle, a H&K .22 caliber rifle and a Pioneer 7.26 mm Pistol.

Yesterday, Quantez Ward pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court before Chief Judge Patrick J. Schiltz to one count of possession of a firearm as a felon related to the firearms recovered on July 19, 2022. On October 25, 2022, Cortez Ward pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court before Senior Judge David S. Doty to one count of possession of ammunition as a felon arising from the May 6, 2022, traffic stop. Sentencing dates will be scheduled at a later time.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Minneapolis Police Department, and the Maple Grove Police Department.

These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lindsey Middlecamp.


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