GREENBELT, Md. – U.S. District Judge Paul W. Grimm sentenced Deante Mandel Duckett, age 37, of Cheverly, Maryland, to 10 years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for dealing in firearms without a license and for transporting a firearm with intent to commit a felony. The sentence was imposed on September 28, 2022.
The sentence 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 Charles County Sheriff Troy Berry.
According to his guilty plea, between March 2019 and April 2019,although Duckett was not a licensed firearms dealer he engaged in the business of selling firearms. Duckett traveled outside of Maryland to acquire firearms that he transported back to Maryland with the intent to sell them.
As detailed in the plea agreement, on three occasions between March 6 and April 11, 2019, Duckett met with a confidential source and sold the source firearms. Specifically, on March 6, Duckett sold the confidential source a .38 Special caliber revolver for $400. Duckett told the source that he had obtained the gun in Atlanta and brought it back to Maryland. On April 2, Duckett sold the confidential source a 380 cc semi-automatic pistol, a .22 caliber revolver, and a .32 caliber revolver in exchange for $1,200. During the exchange, Duckett stated to the confidential source, “See, I go down south, man.” Finally, on April 11, 2019, Duckett provided the confidential source with one 12-gauge shotgun, one.32 caliber revolver, and one.32 caliber semi-automatic pistol loaded with 7 rounds of ammunition. Duckett admitted that he transported the firearms from outside Maryland prior to their recovery.
On April 22, 2019, Duckett sent the confidential source a text message requesting that the confidential source call him. During the conversation, Duckett informed the confidential source that he was planning to bring 10 to 15 firearms into Maryland from “down yonder.” Duckett elaborated that “somebody just did something, so they putting a couple more out here on the streets, so everybody trying to get rid of what they got . . . .” Law enforcement arrested Duckett before the transaction could take place.
In all, Duckett sold seven firearms to the confidential source, transporting the firearms from outside the state of Maryland for the purpose of engaging in the business of firearms trafficking. Duckett made these transactions after having sustained a felon drug conviction in Charles County in 2014 and an armed robbery conviction in 2009. As a convicted felon, Duckett was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition.
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 gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.
United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the ATF and the Charles County Sheriff’s Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Geonard F. Butler II and Joseph R. Baldwin, who prosecuted the case.
For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/project-safe-neighborhoods-psnexile and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.