LANCASTER, Va. (WRIC) — The leader of a street gang operating in Virginia’s rural Northern Neck has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison after selling a firearm to a federal informant.
Shadonta Lateef Beane, 26, pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, but he also faces local charges related to a shooting at a Raceway gas station in Tappahannock.
According to a statement of facts agreed to by Beane as part of his guilty plea, Beane messaged an FBI informant multiple times in September 2020 to negotiate the sale of a submachine gun, which Beane offered to sell with a 50-round drum magazine.
Beane exchanged the gun for $1,400 in cash on Oct. 1, 2020, and parted ways with the informant, unaware that he had just handed the FBI everything they needed to arrest him.
Just two days later, on Oct. 3, Beane’s aunt reported the gun missing to police, unaware that the weapon was already in the possession of the FBI. She had been the original purchaser of the gun, and told police it had been taken from her car.
When law enforcement asked Beane’s aunt to provide the stolen weapon’s serial number, she in turn asked Beane, who contacted the FBI informant. The aunt then passed the same serial number back to local police, implicating herself in the illegal sale.
Beane had already been identified by local commonwealth’s attorneys as a leader of the Merry Point Boys, a local gang that was “terrorizing the community.” But federal agents didn’t arrest Beane.
In fact, the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office arrested Beane on Oct. 12, 2020 for providing a false identity to an officer and driving without a license, but he was evidently released a short time later, without being charged with the federal offenses.
He then allegedly took part in a shooting at the Raceway gas station in Tappahannock on Oct. 31, 2020.
It wasn’t until Nov. 19, 2020 that Beane was taken into custody on charges of possession of a firearm by a felon, which ultimately resulted in his 10 year sentence.
Two days before he was arrested for the Raceway shooting, Beane had sold another firearm illegally, and in requesting the 10 year sentence, prosecutors noted that Beane had previously been convicted on a plethora of felonies, including several counts of obstruction of justice, grand larceny and felony drug possession.