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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

District of Maryland

For Immediate Release

January 12, 2012

Rod J. Rosenstein, United States Attorney

Contact: AUSA Vickie LeDuc or Marcia Murphy
(410) 209-4885

Baltimore Felon Exiled to Over 15 Years in Prison for Possessing a Gun

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Benson E. Legg sentenced Matthew Craighead, age 28, of Baltimore, today to 188 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Judge Legg enhanced Craighead's sentence upon finding that he is an armed career criminal based on three previous drug and violent crime convictions.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Debbie D. Bullock of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives – Baltimore Field Division; Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III; and Baltimore City State's Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein.

According to his plea agreement, on March 4, 2010, Craighead and others were ejected from the Velvet Rope Night Club in Baltimore following an altercation with another group of individuals. Craighead and a companion walked to South and Water Streets, where Craighead removed a .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol from a white van. Craighead and the companion then began to follow the group of individuals whom they had previously encountered at the nightclub. Craighead entered an alley near the corner of Lombard and Light Streets, and fired the gun twice in the direction of one of the individuals. After the shooting, Craighead and his companion ran away and disposed of the gun in an air vent. Law enforcement responded to the area and recovered the loaded pistol from an air vent. Most of these events were captured by television cameras placed along the streets in Baltimore.

Craighead was previously convicted of a felony and prohibited from possessing a gun.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the ATF, Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office and Baltimore Police Department for their work in this investigation and thanked Assistant United States Attorney Antonio J. Reynolds, who prosecuted the case.