Memphis, TN – Darius Washington, 24, has been sentenced to 72 months in federal prison for possession of a firearm after having been previously been convicted of misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. Michael Dunavant, U.S. Attorney announced the sentence today.
According to the information presented in court, on December 9, 2017, detectives conducted a traffic stop on Watkins Avenue in the Family Dollar parking lot. When the car pulled into the parking lot, the front right passenger, later identified as Darius Washington, jumped out of the vehicle and ran inside the store. Detectives observed Washington casually walk back towards the front of the store. After reviewing the in-store video footage, law enforcement observed Washington hide a Beretta .40 caliber pistol in one of the food aisles. The gun was loaded with 13 rounds in the magazine and 1 round in the chamber.
On June 5, 2019, during a physical altercation with a man, Washington pulled out a semi-automatic pistol and shot the man in the ear. Visibly injured, the victim fled the scene. Washington then reached inside the victim’s car and stole a Smith and Wesson .40 caliber pistol he had been carrying.
Washington’s prior criminal history consisted of four misdemeanor convictions, including two convictions for domestic violence with bodily harm. Based upon his domestic violence convictions, Washington was unlawfully in possession of all three firearms pursuant to federal law. Washington had no felony convictions, until today.
On July 29, 2020, U.S. District Court Judge Sheryl H. Lipman sentenced Washington to 72 months in federal prison followed by 3 years supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.
U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said: “Under the new Project Guardian initiative announced by Attorney General Barr inMemphis in November, 2019, we have intensified our focus on removing firearms from the hands of prohibited persons, and removing dangerous offenders from our streets. We have no better partner in this fight against gun crime than the ATF, and under Project Guardian, we will aggressively investigate and prosecute the trigger-pullers and prohibited persons who violate federal firearms laws in West Tennessee. Persons with histories of domestic violence present a known and immediate risk of violence to their families and the community at large. Clearly, this recidivist had no hesitation in committing a violent crime with a firearm, and he will now be removed from the community for 6 years.”
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
Assistant U.S. Attorney Raney Irwin prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.