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Convicted felon sentenced on gun charge in connection to incident at Lee statue

Harrisonburg  WHSV logo Harrisonburg WHSV 12/10/2020 NBC12 Newsroom
a man looking at the camera: Matthew Frezza. © Provided by Harrisonburg WHSV Matthew Frezza.

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A convicted felon was sentenced to prison on Thursday for possessing an assault rifle, handgun, ballistic vest and eight magazines of ammunition after leaving the Robert E. Lee Monument during civil unrest on June 12.

Matthew Lee Frezza, 37, of Chesterfield, was sentenced to 54 months in prison and two years of supervised release after he pleaded guilty earlier this year.

According to court documents, Frezza had an assault rifle and handgun during a traffic stop during civil unrest.

“The incident started when Richmond Police Department (RPD) 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,” a release said.

When officers went up to the vehicle, police saw three people inside, including Frezza who was in the front passenger seat of the truck. RPD officers said all three of them were armed, including with assault rifles

Officers asked them to get out of the truck and police said they took an assault rifle from Frezza’s 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.

Police determined he was a convicted felon and then 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,” a release said.

This case is part of the Department of Justice’s Project Guardian, which is an initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws.

Copyright 2020 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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