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Portsmouth man sentenced to 18 years on gun, fraud, other charges

Armad Gatling got 18 years for possessing a firearm as a felon, aggravated identity theft and credit union fraud. He also led police on a high-speed chase.
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Silhouette of concertina barbed wire on a prison fence

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — A Portsmouth man was sentenced to almost 20 years in prison for fleeing from police with a security baton, fake ID and nine credit cards in other people's names.

Armad Jamall Gatling, 26, got 18 years for illegal possession of a firearm as a convicted felon, aggravated identity theft and credit union fraud.

A release from the Department of Justice and Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Raj Parekh, Gatling also went by "Peso Chapo."

Parekh said he was being held accountable for a slew of crimes, "including his recruitment of over 50 co-conspirators to participate in an extensive fraud scheme involving the Dark Web that inflicted significant financial loss on numerous victims."

The DOJ's release said Gatling had already been indicted for trafficking cocaine and selling an AR-style rifle to a convicted felon before he got caught up in the high-speed chase in September, 2019.

Gatling was convicted of fleeing from Chesapeake Police at 120 miles per hour, blowing through traffic lights and driving into oncoming traffic to try to shake officers.

When they caught him and searched his vehicle, police found the credit cards and a license with a photo of Gatling's face but a fake name.

Investigators also discovered that he'd been leading check fraud schemes with credit unions and creating credit cards with other people's information, sold on the Dark Web.

The DOJ said he "then used the credit cards to purchase trailers, lawn equipment, motorcycles, and other property, which he resold."

Victims of Gatling's schemes lost $368,000.

"Thank you to our law enforcement partners for risking their lives to apprehend the defendant following his reckless high-speed chase during which he placed community members in danger," Parekh wrote in the announcement of Gatling's prison sentence. "We appreciate the hard work and dedication of all our partner agencies who helped bring the defendant to justice on behalf of the victims in this case.”