FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
MONDAY - March 16, 2009
GREENVILLE - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court here today DON CHRISTOPHER HAWES, of Bladenboro, North Carolina pled guilty before United States Magistrate Judge David W. Daniel, to unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(g)(1), which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment followed by up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.
A Criminal Information was filed on December 1, 2008. On December 9, 2008, a trooper with the North Carolina Highway Patrol attempted to perform a traffic stop on HAWES in Lumberton. When the trooper activated his emergency lights, HAWES continued for several miles before stopping. When the trooper attempted to question HAWES, he sped away. HAWES was finally stopped at a roadblock in St. Pauls. A search of the vehicle after HAWES’ arrest uncovered stolen firearms from an earlier residential break-in. The weapons included a Model 110E, .243 caliber bolt action rifle; a Mossberg, Model 500A, 12-gauge shotgun; a New England, Model Pardner, 20-gauge shotgun; a Stevens, Model 954, .22 caliber rifle; a Marlin, Model 60, .22 caliber rifle; and an FIC, Model the Regen, .22 caliber revolver. While HAWES was being arrested, he stated that he was planning on either shooting the trooper or himself.
HAWES prior convictions include three counts of breaking and entering and a felony assault on an officer charge.
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 candor of the defendant in this case is a chilling reminder of the dangers law enforcement officers face every day. And it is a reminder of why the Project Safe Neighborhoods program is so essential. We must remove armed felons from our communities,” stated Mr. Holding.
Investigation of the case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the North Carolina Highway Patrol; and the Roberson County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Ethan Ontjes served as prosecutor for the government
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