OAKLAND -- A Richmond man was sentenced to six years in prison Tuesday following a June conviction of being a felon in possession of illegal firearms, attorneys said.
Dontae Jerome Jones, 30, will serve six out of a maximum 10 years in state prison, a sentence handed to him by U.S. District Court Judge Wilken, who also sentenced Jones to a three-year period of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag said.
On June 20, a federal jury found Jones guilty of possessing a loaded 9 mm semi-automatic pistol that was found under the passenger seat of the car he was driving during a July 24, 2011 traffic stop, Haag said. Jones had admitted the gun belonged to him at the scene, though his attorneys later argued at trial that he had lied to protect his girlfriend, who owned the car and was in the passenger seat at the time of his arrest.
According to prosecutors, Jones was captured on recorded calls asking for "other shells" to be removed from his truck before they could be discovered by authorities, and had asked an acquaintance to sign an affidavit claiming the gun was his.
Furthermore, witnesses at the trial claimed to have seen Jones with a gun the month he was arrested, and his DNA was eventually recovered from the firearm, attorneys said. An unchallenged testimony was presented suggesting that within a month of his arrest, Jones used a similar-looking handgun to threaten and physically assault another person.
The federal jury found Jones guilty of illegal firearms possession at the conclusion of the two-day trial. He will begin serving his sentence Nov. 5.
Contact Erin Ivie at 925-847-2122. Follow her at Twitter.com/erin_ivie.