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JUAN SYLVESTER BARNES v. STATE OF MARYLAND

Juan Sylvester Barnes, appellant, was indicted in the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County and charged with two counts of unlawful possession of a regulated firearm pursuant to Sections 5-133 (b) and (c) of Maryland’s Public Safety Article. Defense counsel filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the indictment had to be dismissed on the grounds of double jeopardy due to the fact that appellant had been convicted and sentenced in Washington County for the crime of possessing the same firearm pursuant to the same statutory provisions. On December 3, 2013, after hearing arguments by counsel, the court denied appellant’s motion to dismiss.

Appellant filed an interlocutory appeal to this Court, raising the following question:

Are charges of unlawful possession of a firearm by a disqualified person on or about a certain date in County A barred by double jeopardy where the defendant has already been tried, convicted, and sentenced in County B for unlawful possession by a disqualified person of the same firearm a week earlier?

For reasons discussed more fully below, we answer this question in the affirmative.

Read the unreported opinion.