Felon Pleads Guilty to Possession of a Firearm in After Being Shot in a Violent Interaction

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BALTIMORE MD — Tony Oliver, age 42, of Maryland, pleaded guilty on May 3, 2022, to being a felon in possession of a firearm.   

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge Toni M. Crosby of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division; and Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department.

According to his guilty plea, on June 28, 2019, Oliver and Oliver’s friend (Victim 1) were shot on the 1400 block of Ward Street in Baltimore.  Based on CCTV cameras, statements, and jail calls, investigators learned that two male suspects first approached Victim 1 and shot him in the head and chest on the 1400 block of Ward Street.  As Oliver approached the area in his vehicle, the male suspects shot at Oliver, hitting him in his hand and arm.  Investigators later recovered multiple pieces of evidence at the scene including a trail of blood, a 9mm firearm, and 9mm shell casings from inside Oliver’s car.

As part of the investigation, officers located the 9mm firearm under a bush at the scene.  In a video viewed by law enforcement, officers saw Oliver near the bush in which the 9mm firearm was located.  BPD homicide detectives subsequently recovered the firearm, tested the firearm for Oliver’s DNA, and discovered Oliver’s DNA on the firearm.  Oliver knew that he had previously been convicted of a felony and was prohibited from possessing a firearm.

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Additionally, as detailed in his guilty plea, the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) requested Oliver’s cellphone pending a search and seizure warrant.  However, before giving the phone to the detectives, Oliver purposely threw it on the ground and broke it.  Due to the damage to the phone, investigators were unable to retrieve information from the cellphone.  The phone was believed to contain information regarding Victim 1’s murder.

Investigators subsequently captured several conversations between Oliver and an incarcerated individual (Individual 1) in which Oliver and Individual 1 discussed the shooting.  For example, on July 11, 2019, in a conversation between Oliver and Individual 1, investigators believed that Oliver described the circumstances leading to the shooting, including how Oliver was driving the vehicle, parked next to a corner store, and tossed his firearm immediately after the shooting, and that Oliver believed that another individual recovered the firearm from the

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scene because an associate of Oliver’s could not locate the firearm when Oliver sent the associate to retrieve it.  Based on the call, Oliver did not believe that law enforcement recovered the firearm.

Oliver faces a maximum of 10 years in federal prison followed by 3 years of supervised release for being a felon in possession of a firearm. U.S. District Judge George L. Russell III has scheduled sentencing for August 19, 2022, at 9:30 a.m.

This case was made possible by investigative leads generated from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives’ (ATF) National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN). NIBIN is the only national network that allows for the capture and comparison of ballistic evidence to aid in solving and preventing violent crimes involving firearms. NIBIN is a proven investigative and intelligence tool that can link firearms from multiple crime scenes, allowing law enforcement to quickly disrupt shooting cycles. For more information on NIBIN, visit https://www.atf.gov/firearms/national-integrated-ballistic-information-network-nibin.

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. PSN, an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime, is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  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.

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United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the ATF and BPD for their work in the investigation. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney LaRai Everett, who is prosecuting the case.

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