Boston felon arrested on gun charges

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BOSTON , MASSACHUSETS – A Boston man was sentenced yesterday for being a felon in illegal possession of firearms and ammunition on two separate occasions in Boston.

Donell Phillips, 27, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Patti B. Saris to 21 months in prison and one year of supervised release. In March 2020, Phillips pleaded guilty to two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

On May 8, 2019, police officers in Boston observed Phillips, who was wanted on outstanding warrants for unrelated charges from Lawrence District Court and South Boston District Court, holding an open container of alcohol on a public sidewalk. Phillips ran from officers and dropped a Bryco, Model 38, .380 caliber firearm and magazine containing .380 caliber ammunition on the street. Phillips was not apprehended that day, and a state court arrest warrant issued for his arrest.

On June 7, 2019, police officers in Boston observed Phillips in the rear passenger seat of a vehicle and attempted to place him under arrest when the vehicle came to a stop. Phillips again ran from officers and jumped over a wall but was apprehended after a short foot chase. In Phillips’ pocket, officers found a loaded Taurus, model PT738 TCP, .380 caliber firearm, and five plastic bags of suspected cocaine base, also known as “crack cocaine.”


Due to a prior state court conviction, Phillips is prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition.

The charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Kelly D. Brady, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, New England Field Division; and Boston Police Commissioner William Gross made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Philip A. Mallard of Lelling’s Organized Crime and Gang Unit prosecuted the case.

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.

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