Franklin gang member pleads guilty to gun charges

Edward Andre Leonard, Jr.,

NORFOLK, Va. – A Franklin man pleaded guilty on September 4, to possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime and being a drug user in possession of a firearm.

Court documents say that 30-year-old Edward Andre Leonard, Jr., is an armed, drug-dealing Franklin gang member. His brother’s gang-related murder in December 2018 started a war between the local Bloods and Crips sets.

Leonard participated in at least two retaliatory shootings of local Crips members, and law enforcement recovered his spent shell casings from one of the shooting scenes.

While police were executing a warrant for his residence based on the shooting investigation, they recovered several baggies of cocaine and marijuana that were packaged for distribution, a handgun, thousands of rounds of rifle ammunition, spent shell casings tied to one of the retaliatory shootings, and a bullet-proof vest.

Leonard faces a mandatory minimum of five years and a maximum of life in prison when sentenced on December 12.

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