Baltimore, Maryland – Ronnie Peoples, age 36, of Baltimore, Maryland, pleaded guilty yesterday to a federal charge of illegal possession of a firearm in a school zone, specifically, the New Hope Academy.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge Toni M. Crosby of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division; and Acting Commissioner Richard Worley of the Baltimore Police Department.
According to his guilty plea, on April 29, 2020, Peoples was seen engaging in what appeared to be hand-to-hand drug transactions in the 500 block of Orchard Street. Peoples then got into a maroon Nissan Ultima and Baltimore Police officers conducted a traffic stop and arrested Peoples. Law enforcement recovered a revolver, loaded with six rounds of ammunition, and 34 flip-top containers of approximately 14.5 grams of cocaine from Peoples’ jacket pocket.
Peoples admitted that he knew he had the firearm and ammunition and had reasonable cause to believe he was within 1,000 feet of the New Hope Academy.
Peoples faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison for possession of a firearm in a school zone. U.S. District Judge George L. Russell, III has scheduled sentencing for September 6, 2023, at 9:30 a.m.
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 gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.
United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the ATF and the Baltimore Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney LaRai Everett, who is prosecuting the case.
For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/project-safe-neighborhoods-psn and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.
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