Repeat Felon Sentenced to Over Five Years in Prison for Illegal Firearm Possession

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BOSTON – A repeat felon with three prior federal firearm convictions was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Boston for his fourth federal firearms charge and the third since 2015.

Darnell Upshaw, 40, of Brockton, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani to 64 months in prison and three years of supervised release. In September 2021, Upshaw pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. 

In the early morning hours in November 2019, Upshaw was pulled over on Route 140 in Taunton by law enforcement for traffic violations. After observing Upshaw’s speech and appearance, his performance on the field sobriety test, as well as an open bottle of Hennessey’s in Upshaw’s vehicle, the officer determined Upshaw to be extremely inebriated and he was subsequently arrested. A search of Upshaw’s vehicle recovered a 9mm Glock pistol loaded with 11 rounds of 9mm ammunition tucked under the floor mat of the driver’s seat, with the grip positioned up towards the driver.

Upshaw is prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition due to three previous federal convictions. In April 2005, Upshaw sold an undercover agent 50 rounds of .25 caliber ammunition. In August 2015, during a traffic stop in which he was determined to be operating under the influence of alcohol, Upshaw was found in possession of a .380 caliber semi-automatic pistol loaded with four rounds of .32 caliber ammunition.

In May 2017, officers responded to a report of shots fired on Owens Avenue in Brockton. Based on information provided at the scene, law enforcement officers suspected that Upshaw was responsible for the shooting and began surveillance of his house. Subsequently, officers observed a vehicle matching the description of the shooter’s vehicle arrive and park near Upshaw’s house, where two men exited the vehicle. Minutes later, Upshaw was observed leaving his house and driving away in a black SUV which the officers followed and, when it stopped, Upshaw exited and took off running with his right arm braced tightly against his side. The officers followed Upshaw as he fled, climbed over a fence and entered his girlfriend’s mother’s house. Upshaw was apprehended inside the house and a loaded firearm was found lying on top of a pile of lawn clippings near the fence Upshaw had climbed. Subsequent lab analysis revealed that Upshaw’s shirt bore traces of gunshot primer residue.      

United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins; James Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Boston Field Division; Colonel Christopher Mason, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; and Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert E. Richardson of Rollins’ Major Crimes Unit prosecuted the case.  

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