LYNCHBURG (WSLS 10) - A man who illegally possessed a firearm after being a previously convicted felon, has been sentenced today in the United States District Court.
54-year-old Shawn Vernol Preston, of Lynchburg, had pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful transport of a firearm.
He was sentenced to 72 months in federal prison and three years of supervised release thereafter.
"From the moment I took office as the United States Attorney I have made it a priority to work with our law enforcement partners to get illegal guns off our streets and out of our communities," United States
Attorney Fishwick said today. "Individuals who are prohibited from possessing firearms must not be allowed to possess weapons, period. When they do, our communities are less safe and law enforcement must get involved."
According to evidence presented at previous hearings, Preston was approached by a Lynchburg police officer after he matched the physical description of someone who was reported to be seen with a gun. When he was approached by the officer, he refused to be patted down and eventually took off running.
The officer then chased him and eventually saw him pull out a pistol and run behind a row of houses. Attorney Fishwick says the officer did not pursue him further because she was alone and the lighting was poor.
After additional units arrived,Preston emerged from behind the houses, without the gun, and was arrested and placed in handcuffs.
Upon further investigation, police found the loaded gun lying on the ground near the homes where Preston ran.