FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Friday, August 25, 2006
ARMED CAREER CRIMINAL SENTENCED TO 15+ YEARS
RALEIGH - Acting United States Attorney George E. B. Holding announced that TOMMY WIGGINS, 44, of Wilson, North Carolina, was sentenced in federal court in Raleigh on Tuesday, August 22, 2006. On August 9, 2005, WIGGINS was found guilty following a bench trial of being a felon in possession of a firearm. WIGGINS was charged in an indictment filed on March 9, 2005.
U. S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle sentenced WIGGINS to 188 months in prison followed by a supervised release term of five years. According to testimony at the trial, on April 7, 2004, Wilson Police Department officers received information from a confidential informant that WIGGINS was driving a Jeep Liberty while in possession of cocaine, stored in his sock. Officers instituted a traffic stop of the his vehicle and a K-9 officer was summoned. The officers then observed an open container of alcohol in the vehicle and placed WIGGINS under arrest for that violation at which time WIGGINS and his vehicle were searched incident to the arrest. The officers recovered a small quantity of powder cocaine from WIGGINS’ sock, and a .380 caliber pistol from the center console of his Jeep. After being taken to the police station, WIGGINS was advised of his Miranda rights and he admitted to possession of the firearm. Prior to this incident, WIGGINS had amassed two felony convictions for distribution of heroin and one felony breaking and entering conviction. Because of these prior felony convictions, WIGGINS was sentenced under the provisions of the federal Armed Career Criminal Act, which mandates at least 15 years in prison without parole for those with three or more prior violent or drug trafficking felony convictions.
Investigation of the case was conducted by the Wilson Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as a part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, the Justice Department’s national initiative to reduce gun crime. Assistant U.S. Attorney John H. Bennett of the Greenville branch office is handling the case for the Government.
News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.