Washington, D.C. Felon Pleads Guilty in Maryland to Federal Charges for Illegal Possession of a Firearm

Led Law Enforcement on a Car Chase from D.C. into Maryland Prior to His Arrest

Baltimore, Maryland – Ronald Clarence Kearney, age 32, of Washington, D.C., pleaded guilty on December 10, 2020, to a federal charge for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur and Director Donald W. Washington of the U.S. Marshals Service.

According to his guilty plea, on November 27, 2019, deputies of the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) went to Kearney’s residence in Washington, D.C. to arrest Kearney on an outstanding warrant.  Kearney fled, getting into a 2011 Ford Crown Victoria parked in the parking lot at his residence, and drove away.  USMS deputies followed Kearney with emergency equipment activated.  Kearney drove onto the Suitland Parkway and crossed into Maryland, ultimately crashing the car into a concrete column supporting the Naylor Road Metrorail Bridge.  Although the vehicle was stuck, Kearney continued to attempt to move the vehicle forward and backwards and nearly struck a USMS deputy who had left his vehicle after the crash.  Fearing that Kearney would hit him the USMS deputy fired his service weapon, striking Kearney’s car.

Realizing that his efforts to dislodge the vehicle were unsuccessful, Kearney fled on foot and was apprehended by USMS deputies in a nearby creek bed.  Kearney told the arresting law enforcement officers that he had a firearm in his car.  USMS deputies searched the Crown Victoria and recovered a 9mm semi-automatic handgun.  The Crown Victoria had been stolen in Prince George’s County three days earlier.  Kearney had been convicted previously in the District of Columbia Superior Court of robbery with a deadly weapon and in Prince George’s County, Maryland Circuit Court of carjacking and robbery, all of which were felonies.  Kearney knew that as a result of these felony convictions he was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition

Kearney faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm.   U.S. District Judge Paul W. Grimm has scheduled sentencing for April 22, 2021 at 12:00 p.m.

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.

This case is also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws.  Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities.  For more information about Project Guardian, please see: https://www.justice.gov/projectguardian.

United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the U.S. Marshals Service for its work in the investigation.  Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Hollis Raphael Weisman, who is prosecuting this case.