Wilmington Man Sentenced to 37 Months in Federal Prison for Possessing Gun

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FILE PHOTO: American flag waves outside the U.S. Department of Justice Building in Washington

WILMINGTON, Del. – David C. Weiss, U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware, announced today that a Wilmington, Delaware man was sentenced to 37 months in prison last week for possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.  U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Andrews pronounced the sentence.

According to statements made in open court, Khalil Rodriguez-Fitzgerald, 27, possessed a Glock model 19x handgun from February 8, 2021, until February 11, 2021.  The gun, which was straw purchased in North Carolina on February 7, 2021, was transported north, and delivered to the defendant in New Jersey on February 8, 2021.  Rodriguez-Fitzgerald is prohibited from possessing a firearm because of his criminal history. 

At the sentencing hearing, the government argued that Rodriguez-Fitzgerald should be subject to additional jail time because, in addition to possessing the Glock, his social media and phone contents demonstrated that Rodriguez-Fitzgerald was buying guns, giving guns to gang members, and selling drugs for months before he was arrested.  The Court agreed that the defendant’s conduct warranted a sentence greater than called for by the United States Sentencing Guidelines.

Rodriguez-Fitzgerald has also been indicted in the Superior Court of Delaware for gang participation and weapons charges for his involvement with a local gang referred to as Northpak.  The Superior Court indictment charged a number of other members of Northpak with committing shootings and murders in New Castle County between 2018 and 2021.  The government noted at the sentencing hearing that Rodriguez-Fitzgerald frequently communicated with and supplied firearms to members of Northpak, and he bragged about committing acts of violence himself within his social media. 

U.S. Attorney Weiss commented about the sentence, “Mr. Rodriguez-Fitzgerald poses a clear and present danger to our community.  First, he contributed to the violence in our streets by possessing guns himself and by supplying guns to gang members.  These illegal firearms were then used to intimidate and harm members of rival gangs.  Second, when law enforcement attempted to apprehend defendant, he eluded capture by driving on Concord Pike at speeds approaching 100 miles per hour, thereby endangering innocent bystanders.  For these reasons, the government requested a sentence of 57 months, more than two years above the prescribed guideline range.  My office will continue to work with our federal, state, and local partners to combat the gang violence plaguing our community.” 

“From start to finish in this case, there is a flagrant disregard for law, order, and human life,” said Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) Baltimore Field Division Special Agent in Charge Toni M. Crosby. “The firearm this criminal possessed was straw purchased, bought with the intention of giving it to someone who cannot legally have it. He pushed drugs and guns into the community and aided other gang members in obtaining guns that are destined to threaten the safety of Delaware’s citizens. This kind of remorseless criminal behavior will not be tolerated by ATF and our law enforcement partners.”

The charges in this case were the result of a joint investigation involving the ATF, the Wilmington Police Department, and the Delaware Department of Justice to address the violence caused by Northpak and its associates.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer K. Welsh prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Delaware. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the District of Delaware or on PACER by searching for Case No. 21-cr-11.