02/16/2017 Release from the U.S. Department of Justice:
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA – A Waynesboro man pled guilty yesterday in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Charlottesville to a federal gun charge, Acting United States Attorney Rick A. Mountcastle announced.
Miguel Angel Fernandez, 19, of Waynesboro, Va., pled guilty yesterday to one count of knowingly possessing a stolen firearm. A sentencing date has been set for May 8, 2017. At sentencing, Fernandez faces up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000.
During the hearing, the United States stated that its evidence included the following: on Sunday, September 11, 2016, a United States Park Ranger approached Fernandez and several others near a vehicle that was parked along the Blue Ridge Parkway near milepost 41 in Rockbridge County to inquire about litter outside of the vehicle. As the Ranger approached the vehicle to see if the occupants needed assistance, he told the occupants he needed to speak to them about the trash on the ground. It was at this point the Ranger smelled the odor of alcohol emanating from the vehicle.
While talking to passenger Fernandez, who appeared to be intoxicated, the Ranger noticed a bulge in Fernandez’s waistband and recovered a Springfield Armory XD .40 caliber semiautomatic pistol. The gun had been reported stolen within the prior two days from the glovebox of a car.
In a post-Miranda statement, Fernandez admitted that he knew the gun was stolen but he did not know who stole it and was just holding the gun for a friend.
The investigation of the case was conducted by the National Park Service. Assistant United States Attorney Nancy S. Healey prosecuted the case for the United States.