NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A Newport News man pleaded guilty yesterday to the unlawful purchase and possession of a firearm that was used in three community shootings.
According to court documents, Khalil Rashad Armstrong, 21, asked his older cousin to purchase a handgun for Armstrong. Only 20 years old at the time, Armstrong was not old enough to purchase a handgun himself. Armstrong gave his cousin the money to purchase the firearm and selected the make and model. Around February 21, 2021, Armstrong’s cousin made false oral and written statements to a local licensed firearm dealer in order to straw-purchase the firearm for Armstrong. The firearm was recovered by police on July 27, 2021, at the crime scene of a local rival gang shootout approximately 125 days after it was purchased. Forensic ballistics confirmed the firearm had been used in two other shootings, once on May 2, 2021, resulting in property damage, and once on February 21, 2021, the same day it was purchased.
On May 12, Armstrong’s cousin and co-defendant, Destiny Na’iymah Davis, 23, of Newport News, pleaded guilty to her role in the unlawful straw-purchase of the firearm. She faces a maximum of 5 years in prison when sentenced on December 5.
Armstrong pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting making a false statement during the purchase of a firearm and to being an unlawful user of a controlled substance in possession of a firearm and is scheduled to be sentenced on March 30, 2023. He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison on the first charge and a maximum of 15 years in prison on the second. 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; Christopher Amon, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Washington Field Division; and Steve R. Drew, Chief of Newport News Police, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Wilson Hanes accepted the plea.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Osyf is prosecuting the case.
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. 4:22-cr-12.