Virginia Beach Man Pleads Guilty to Possessing a Machine Gun Used in a Shootout

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

NORFOLK, Va. – A Virginia Beach man pleaded guilty last week to illegal possession of a machine gun.

According to court documents, Shy’Quan Dodson, 25, possessed a machine gun on July 18, 2021. That day, Norfolk Police (NPD) officers were in the vicinity of the 900 block of Tunstall Avenue in Norfolk, where they observed multiple individuals shooting at each other. The individuals fled in three separate vehicles, and during the ensuing pursuit a firearm was tossed from the rear of the vehicle. After a 15-minute pursuit that ended in a crash in Portsmouth, Dodson was detained while attempting to flee on foot from the vehicle. The firearm tossed from the vehicle was a Glock with an attached component that converted the handgun into a fully automatic machine gun. 

A search of Dodson’s cell phone showed photos of him holding the weapon, and a primer residue test revealed that Dodson had primer particles on his hands from the discharge of a firearm. Dodson’s phone also contained communications with another individual related to the buying and selling of machine gun conversion kits.

Dodson is scheduled to be sentenced on August 12. He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Ramin Fatehi, Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney; and Charlie J. Patterson, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Washington Field Division, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney accepted the plea.

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Graham M. Stolle and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph DePadilla and William B. Jackson are prosecuting the case.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), which 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.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:22-cr-1.