News and Press Releases


MONDAY - September 28, 2009


RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court on September 24, 2009, United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle sentenced DURAN JEFFREY WARD, 38, of Mount Olive, North Carolina, to 120 months’ imprisonment followed by five years of supervised release. A Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment on March 18, 2009. On May 18, 2009, WARD pled guilty to unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(g)(1).

On July 28, 2008, officers with the Mount Olive Police Department responded to a domestic disturbance call at a residence on Hillsboro Street in Mount Olive, North Carolina. The caller also stated that WARD was armed with a sawed-off shotgun. When officers arrived at the residence, the inside of the house was dark. An officer approached with his flashlight illuminated. In the living room, the officer saw WARD with the shotgun. When the officer ordered WARD to drop the weapon, WARD ran into a bedroom. The officer then ordered WARD to come out of the bedroom, which he did, but without the shotgun. The bedroom was searched and under the mattress officers found an Ithaca, double-barrel, 12-gauge shotgun.

WARD’s previous felonious convictions include sell/deliver of a counterfeit controlled substance, conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon, larceny from the person, and two counts each of common law robbery and assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury.

Mr. Holding stated, “We are pleased with the sentencing outcome and with the success of the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) program. The PSN program was designed to take violent felons, who ignore the law, off the streets by moving them into federal court, thereby increasing the deterrent effect and, hopefully, sending a strong message to others.”

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) 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.

Investigation of the case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Mount Olive Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Ethan Ontjes served as prosecutor for the government

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