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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Delaware
David C. Weiss, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Wilmington Man Pleads Guilty to Possessing Gun

WILMINGTON, Del. – David C. Weiss, U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware, announced that Donta Thomas, of Wilmington, was sentenced today to 66 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Richard G. Andrews for illegally possessing ammunition.

Mr. Thomas, 23, was arrested after he fled from officers during a traffic stop.  A foot chase ensued, in which Mr. Thomas was observed tossing a privately made firearm onto the ground.  Officers recovered the firearm and discovered it was loaded with one round of ammunition in the chamber and 15 in the magazine.  Mr. Thomas was not legally permitted to possess a firearm or ammunition because of his prior felony convictions, which include armed robbery and armed carjacking.  Mr. Thomas was taken into custody and admitted to possessing the loaded gun.  He has been in custody since his arrest on January 23, 2020.

U.S. Attorney Weiss stated, “Our community is fighting the scourge of gun crime, and illegally possessed weapons are a key part of the problem.  That problem is exacerbated when those weapons are privately made firearms, also known as “ghost guns.”  Unfortunately, the illegal use of these ghost guns is becoming more prevalent in Delaware. Such firearms lack a serial number, making them nearly impossible for law enforcement to trace.  I want to thank the Wilmington Police Department and ATF for their work in ensuring that another illegally possessed weapon has been removed from the streets.”

“Any firearm in the hands of someone who is prohibited from having them is a safety concern, but that concern and risk to the public increases exponentially when it is someone with multiple previous violent, armed offenses,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Toni M. Crosby. “ATF is committed to working alongside our state and local partners, as well as prosecutors, to ensure that cases like this are investigated and those with violent intentions are removed from our communities.”

The case was investigated by the Wilmington Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Maureen McCartney and Assistant U.S. Attorney Briana Knox prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Delaware.  Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the District of Delaware or on PACER.


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