Suitland Felon, Avante Daquan Lee Sentenced to Three Years in Federal Prison for Illegal Possession of a Loaded Firearm
Defendant Fled from Police and Possessed Two Loaded Pistols
Greenbelt, MD (STL.News) U.S. District Judge Paula Xinis sentenced Avante Daquan Lee, age 28, of Suitland, Maryland, to three years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
The sentence was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner; Special Agent in Charge Timothy Jones of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division; and Chief Malik Aziz of the Prince George’s County Police Department.
According to Lee’s guilty plea, on March 15, 2020, a Prince George’s County police officer observed Lee in a Temple Hills, Maryland parking lot attempting to restart a dirt bike that did not have a license plate, as required. The uniformed police officer pulled his unmarked vehicle in front of Lee, who then dropped the dirt bike and fled into a wooded area followed by the police officer, who gave Lee several verbal commands to stop.
During the chase, Lee threw a 9x19mm-caliber semi-automatic pistol into underbrush near a chain link fence. Lee stopped running when he reached the chain link fence and began to reach into his waistband. Believing that Lee was attempting to retrieve a weapon, the police officer who was pursuing Lee advised Lee that he was under arrest and ordered him to the ground.
Prince George’s County police officers who arrived on the scene during the chase saw an object fly through the air and land in the underbrush near where Lee was running. They searched the area where the object landed and recovered the pistol, which was loaded with 10 cartridges. The frame of the firearm was orange and the slide was silver. Further investigation revealed the gun had been stolen on April 25, 2016.
Lee was searched incident to his arrest and officers discovered a .40-caliber semi-automatic pistol in Lee’s left pant leg. The firearm was loaded with 10 cartridges and an additional cartridge chambered in the barrel. Two additional magazines—one loaded with 10 cartridges and the other loaded with seven cartridges—were recovered from Lee’s right front pocket.
Lee’s cellphone was also recovered from his right front pants pocket. Law enforcement subsequently obtained a search warrant for Lee’s cellphone and discovered numerous pictures and videos of Lee with firearms, including the stolen handgun Lee threw prior to his arrest, and the pistol recovered from Lee’s left pant leg when he was arrested.
Lee knew that he was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition as a result of two previous felony convictions in the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County—a 2011 conviction for robbery with a dangerous weapon and a 2017 conviction for firearm possession.
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. Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.
Acting United States Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner commended the ATF and Prince George’s County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Lenzner thanked Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica Harvey and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly O. Hayes, who prosecuted the case.