News and Press Releases


WEDNESDAY - December 17, 2008


RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court here yesterday MARTIN BRYANT BOYETTE, 35, and JULIO FRENTEZ MORALES, 26, both of Clinton, North Carolina, pled guilty before United States District Judge James C. Dever, III, to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

A Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment on July 30, 2008. On April 30, 2008, BOYETTE and MORALES manufactured an explosive device. After making the device, both were on their way to the residence of BOYETTE’s ex-girlfriend’s current boyfriend. Because BOYETTE’s girlfriend had been complaining to BOYETTE about her current boyfriend’s treatment and abuse of her, BOYETTE and MORALES decided to throw the device in an attempt to scare him. As they drove by the residence, the CO2 cartridge detonated before MORALES could throw it out the window. MORALES sustained severe injuries and the two proceeded to the hospital for treatment where law enforcement arrived to investigate.

Mr. Holding commented, “Our Project Safe Neighborhoods Program is designed to address the threat posed by convicted felons and other armed and potentially violent criminals. This case clearly raises real concerns in that it involved individuals making their own explosives. We are fortunate that no innocent victim was injured.”

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods which encourages federal, state, and local agencies to cooperate in a unified “team effort” against gun crime, targeting repeat offenders who continually plague their communities.

The maximum penalty both face is up to 10 years imprisonment followed by up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. If one or both of the defendants are deemed a career criminal, the maximum penalty faced increases to up to life imprisonment followed by five years of supervised release.

Sentencings have been scheduled for the March 23, 2009, term of court.

Investigation of the case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Jane Jackson served as prosecutor for the government.


News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at within 48 hours of release.

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