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Man pleads guilty to gun charges

A Suffolk man previously convicted of numerous violent felonies, who is a registered sex offender, pleaded guilty in federal court Friday to being a felon in possession of a firearm and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime.

According to court documents, Edward Jamaal Taylor, 38, was arrested based on evidence that he had allegedly assaulted and kidnapped at gunpoint a witness in a federal drug-trafficking case, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Police officers then searched Taylor’s car and recovered a handgun equipped with a laser sight and loaded with a large-capacity magazine, which matched the victim’s description of the firearm used in the abduction. The officers also recovered eight ounces of marijuana and a double-bladed knife from the car. After his arrest, Taylor admitted to owning the gun, possessing the drugs with intent to distribute them, and “possibly hitting” the victim while “recklessly waving his gun around” during an argument, after which he “assisted” the victim to two different locations.

Taylor has seven convictions for violent felonies, including two for robbery, two for possessing a firearm in connection with a felony offense, two for abduction, and one for rape.

Taylor is scheduled to be sentenced on April 16, 2021. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and a maximum of life in prison. 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.