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Felon Pleads Guilty to Stealing Firearms in St. Mary’s County

Greenbelt, MD – May 22, 2019 - Robert Jacob Eberle, age 30, of Lexington Park, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to the federal charge of theft of firearms, which Eberle admitted he stole from a federally licensed firearms dealer. 

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Rob Cekada of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division; and St. Mary’s County Sheriff Tim Cameron.

As detailed in his plea agreement, Eberle admitted that on July 21, 2018, he stole 11 firearms from a federally licensed firearms dealer in St. Mary’s County, Maryland.  The guns included seven 9mm pistols, two .45-caliber pistols, a .40-caliber pistol, and a .380-caliber pistol.  According to his plea agreement, in order to access the firearms, Eberle used a hammer to break through the rear cinderblock wall of the premises, crawled through the hole, broke the glass case containing numerous handguns, and stole the guns.

Eberle admitted that he sold or traded two or more of the stolen firearms to third parties, even though he had reason to believe that those individuals intended to use or dispose of the firearms illegally.  Further, Eberle knew that he had a previous felony conviction and was prohibited from possessing firearms.

As part of his plea agreement, Eberle must forfeit all of the guns stolen from the dealer.

Eberle faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for theft of firearms.  U.S. District Judge Paula Xinis has scheduled sentencing for August 26, 2019 at 1:00 p.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 make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) 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.

United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the ATF and the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Baldwin, who is prosecuting the case.

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