Two Twin Cities men federally charged with illegal possession of firearms

A White Bear Lake man and a Minneapolis man, both with prior violent criminal convictions, have been charged in federal court with illegal gun possession.

Two Twin Cities men with violent criminal histories are facing federal gun charges following surveillance related to a May shooting in north Minneapolis.

The US Attorney for the District of Minnesota, Erica MacDonald, announced the charges against Jarvae Josiah Somerville, 27, and Ronald Donte Finley, Jr., 25, on Friday.

According to the allegations in the criminal complaint, investigators with the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) determined that Somerville and Finley were suspects in a shooting that occurred on May 19, 2020, in north Minneapolis. 

While conducting surveillance on Somerville, MPD officers observed Somerville and Finley at a restaurant on Lake Street in Minneapolis. Somerville was inside the restaurant and Finley was outside near a vehicle that the men were driving. 

Officers moved in to make an arrest. When officers approached Finley, Finley ran from the vehicle but was apprehended and arrested. Inside the vehicle, officers found a 9mm semi-automatic pistol. 

When officers entered the restaurant and attempted to arrest Somerville, Somerville ran inside a private bathroom in the back of the restaurant. 

An officer chasing Somerville followed Somerville inside, and Somerville reached into his waistband. The officer was concerned that Somerville was reaching for a firearm and grabbed Somerville’s hand. The two men struggled until other officers arrived to assist. 

After Somerville was handcuffed and taken into custody, officers recovered a .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun with an extended magazine from the floor of the bathroom.

Officers subsequently executed a search warrant at Somerville’s residence and found a box of .45 caliber ammunition and a gun cleaning kit. Investigators also subsequently confirmed that Finley’s fingerprints were present on the magazine of the 9mm pistol found in the vehicle at the time of his arrest.

Somerville, of White Bear Lake, and Finley, of Minneapolis, have each been charged with one count of possession of a firearm by a felon.

Court records show that Somerville has four prior violent felony convictions in Hennepin County. In 2012, Somerville was charged with ten felonies, including several counts of attempted murder, in a case where he was accused of shooting a girl in the back after an argument with a group of men inside a Brooklyn Park apartment complex. In that case, Somerville ended up pleading guilty to only two counts of second-degree assault and the remainder of the charges were dismissed by Judge Toddrick S. Barnette.

Somerville was most recently released from prison on supervised release (parole) in January following another conviction for second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and was still on parole at the time of his current arrest.

Finley also has a history of convictions for violent crimes in Cook County, IL, including robbery and assault. The prior felony convictions for both men make them ineligible to possess firearms. 

Both Somerville and Finley made their initial court appearances in federal court in Minneapolis on Friday. Both are housed in Sherburne County Jail and have been ordered to remain in custody pending a formal detention hearing, which is scheduled for Tuesday, July 14.

Information about whether the two may face additional charges related to the original shooting that was being investigated wasn’t made immediately available by law enforcement.

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