A Tale Of Two Prosecutions

This is the tale of two prosecutions for the same crime. The crime involves lying on the Form 4473 where the buyer is asked whether he or she is an “unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance.” This is a violation of 18 USC §§ 922(g)(3) and 924(a)(2). It carries a sentence of up to 10 years imprisonment plus fines.

The first prosecution is of a 26 year old African-American women by the name of Deja Nicole Taylor. She lives in Newport News, Virginia. According to a press release from the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, police found marijuana and marijuana edibles in a search of her home as well as that of her mother where she was residing at the time of her arrest. She was charged with not only lying but being a user in possession of a firearm to which she has pleaded guilty. Combined she could face up to 25 years in prison.

Law Office of James Ellenson

Ms. Taylor’s real crime, in my opinion, was being negligent by leaving her Taurus pistol where her 6 year old son could take it to school and shoot his first grade teacher. She has been indicted under Virginia law for felony child neglect and a misdemeanor charge of “recklessly leaving a firearm so as to endanger a child.” She maintains she had a trigger lock on the pistol and had placed it on a high shelf. Even the Feds found a trigger lock when they search her home.

The Federal charges were a way of piling on to make an example of this young woman. Here are the comments by the US Attorney and the ATF SAC.

“It is clear from this case that enforcement of our existing federal firearm laws is critical to ensuring public safety,” said Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Federal requirements for firearm ownership are not optional and exist to protect owners, their family members, and the communities where they live. Failing to abide by those requirements when purchasing or possessing a firearm can have far-reaching consequences.”

“The safety of our communities is one of my utmost concerns and our efforts will always reflect that. I want to be clear, anyone that is an unlawful user of or addicted to controlled substances such as marijuana are prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition under federal law,” said ATF Washington Field Division Special Agent in Charge Craig B. Kailimai. “ATF will continue to collaborate with our local, state, and federal partners to ensure that people who violate this condition of firearm ownership are held accountable for their actions.”

The second person being prosecuted for lying about being an unlawful user was not young, negligent, poor, or Black. Rather he is a graduate of Georgetown University and Yale Law School who has the utmost in connections both here and abroad. You might even call him the “fortunate son”.

Despite the graininess of this photo, I think you know who the second person is being prosecuted.

That’s correct. It is Robert Hunter Biden and the photo of him passed out with the crack pipe in his mouth is from his own laptop.

During 2018 when he was a heavy user of crack cocaine, Biden purchased a handgun from a dealer in Delaware. His own memoir, Beautiful Things, acknowledges his drug use. The handgun was eventually tossed into a dumpster by Hallie Biden, his brother’s widow and his lover, and only returned after being found by a dumpster diver.

Today the US Attorney for Delaware David Weiss filed a plea agreement with the District Court.


According to the plea agreement, Biden will plead guilty to two misdemeanor charges of failure to pay income tax. In addition, he will enter a Pretrial Diversion Agreement on the felony firearm charges whereby the charges are eventually dismissed so long as he lives up to the terms of the agreement.

So the “fortunate son” will get a slap on the wrist, do no time, and have no felony record. Meanwhile, the young, negligent, poor, and Black woman is facing up to 25 years in imprisonment in addition to the state charges. I will grant you that her pistol was used by her son to shoot his teacher but that is why there are state charges.

If there were truly equal justice under the law, Ms. Taylor would have gotten the same plea deal that Mr. Biden received. One might hope the judge in her case sees the deal offered to Biden and sentences her to something similar. Frankly, I doubt that will happen.

In the meantime, I’ll let John Fogarty and Creedence Clearwater Revival have the last word.

It ain’t me, it ain’t me

I ain’t no fortunate one, no, no, no

It ain’t me, it ain’t me

I ain’t no fortunate son, no, no, no

It ain’t me, it ain’t me…