Chesterfield man sentenced for possessing firearms during Richmond protest

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A previously convicted felon was sentenced Friday to four and a half years in prison and two years supervised release for his possession of an assault rifle, handgun, ballistic vest, and eight magazines of ammunition after leaving the Robert E. Lee Monument during civil unrest in Richmond on June 12.

According to court documents, Matthew Lee Frezza, 37, of Chesterfield, possessed an assault rifle and handgun during the course of a traffic stop during civil unrest. The incident started when Richmond Police Department officers observed a caravan of three trucks driving recklessly in the vicinity of the Robert E. Lee Monument. Based on this reckless driving, RPD officers executed a traffic stop on one of the pickup trucks at the intersection of Old Mill Road and Boatwright Road in the city of Richmond.

Upon approaching the truck, RPD officers observed three occupants inside, with an individual later identified as Frezza in the front passenger seat of the truck. RPD officers further observed all three occupants of the truck armed with firearms, including assault rifles.

Based on the firearms and the vehicles prior presence at the Robert E. Lee Monument, RPD Officers requested the three occupants step out of the truck. As Frezza exited the truck, RPD officers took an assault rifle from his possession, removed a handgun and two clips from a holster on his thigh, and removed a ballistic vest from his body that contained six rifle magazines with ammunition.

On the scene, RPD Officers determined that Frezza was a convicted felon and placed him under arrest.

The firearm possessed by Frezza was a Taurus, Model G3, 9mm caliber, semi-automatic pistol. The assault rifle possessed by Frezza was later determined to be a homemade rifle without a serial number, which contained a loaded, high-capacity magazine.


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