A Farmville man was sentenced Nov. 7 to nearly eight years in prison for the illegal possession of 40 firearms and 23,000 rounds of ammunition by an unlawful user of controlled substances, cited a recent Department of Justice (DOJ) press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office Eastern District of Virginia.
“An armed drug user presents grave dangers to our community and to law enforcement officers sworn to protect us,” U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia G. Zachary Terwilliger said in the release. “Robert Baldwin was in possession of numerous extremely deadly weapons, devices and ammunition, and opened up his home to juveniles to use and abuse illicit drugs. Simply put, the combination of drug use and possession of firearms is a recipe for disaster.”
Officials in the release noted that according to court documents, on April 23, 2018, officers of the Farmville Police Department and the Virginia State Police executed a search warrant at the residence of Robert N. Baldwin III, 50, on complaints that he was regularly using that residence for the consumption of marijuana by himself, his juvenile son and students at Longwood University.
In addition to marijuana and smoking devices, officers also recovered three illegal firearms silencers, 23 rifles, eight shotguns, six semi-automatic pistols, three revolvers, various gun parts, an improvised explosive device, more than 23,000 rounds of ammunition, tactical armor and radios and computer equipment belonging to the Virginia State Police, officials continued.
The release stated that on July 26, 2019, Baldwin pleaded guilty and admitted that he was an illegal drug user and that he knowingly possessed each of the seized firearms.
Terwilliger and Ashan M. Benedict, special agent in charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Washington Field Division, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney Jr., the release cited. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stephen W. Miller and Kenneth Simon prosecuted the case.
Prince Edward County Commonwealth’s Attorney Megan Clark provided The Herald with the conviction and sentencing order for Baldwin from the Circuit Court of Prince Edward County that came out of a June 5 hearing.
The order noted that he pleaded no contest and was found guilty of possessing materials to make explosive devices. He was sentenced to incarceration with the Virginia Department of Corrections for a term of 10 years, with eight years and 11 months suspended upon his following a series of terms and conditions. His sentence to serve from the state is one year and one month.