Convicted Felon Sentenced to Almost Four Years for Firearms Offenses Following Dangerous Car Chase in Fairmount Section of Philadelphia

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

PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that Demetrius Wilson, 30, of Philadelphia, PA, was sentenced to 3 years and 10 months in prison, and three years of supervised release by United States District Court Judge Paul S. Diamond for a firearms offense which stemmed from a dramatic and perilous flight from Philadelphia Police.

In September 2021, the defendant pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. In January 2020, Philadelphia police attempted to conduct a traffic stop of a vehicle which was being operated by Wilson for a routine traffic violation in a residential neighborhood in the Fairmont-Brewerytown section of Philadelphia. Instead of complying with the traffic stop, Wilson sped away in his vehicle and the officers pursued him. The car chase ended when Wilson crashed into a telephone pole, but even after that accident he continued to flee undeterred; the defendant exited the vehicle and continued to flee on foot. Wilson’s reckless attempt to escape ended when he collided with a Philadelphia police officer and the gun in his possession, a loaded 9mm handgun, flew from his hand.

“The defendant’s actions, both the illegal possession of a firearm and his potentially deadly exploits on the road, presented a serious threat to the safety of our community,” said U.S. Attorney Williams. “This sentence of years in prison should serve as an example to others who have previously been convicted of felony offenses and are considering carrying firearms that we will use every law enforcement tool at our disposal to find and stop you. If you choose to illegally carry a firearm, you are going to face serious federal charges.”           

“Convicted felons, who illegally possess firearms, will face federal prosecution and the possibility of a lengthy federal prison sentence,” said Matthew Varisco, Special Agent in charge of ATF’s Philadelphia Field Division. “I want to thank our partners at the Philadelphia Police Department and the United States Attorney’s Office for their combined efforts investigating this case.”

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.   The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Philadelphia Police Department and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ashley N. Martin.