News and Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

THURSDAY - December 10, 2009

WILMINGTON BUSINESS OWNER SENTENCED TO 20 YEARS IN PRISON

FOR ILLEGAL POSSESSION OF A FIREARM

NEW BERN - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court yesterday Chief United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan sentenced WILLIAM JOSEPH INMAN, 39, Wilmington, North Carolina, to 241 months’ imprisonment.

A Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment on October 22, 2008. On April 29, 2009, a federal jury convicted INMAN of unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Evidence presented at trial revealed that on January 18, 2008, the Wilmington Police Department received information that INMAN was running an illegal gambling business out of Two Trees Pools and Spa, his pool cleaning and supply business in Wilmington, North Carolina. INMAN reportedly would sit at a desk directly in the path of the front door of his business and was known to keep a large loaded handgun on his person at all times.

A search warrant was obtained and executed at Inman’s business. As the officers were entering the premises one officer saw INMAN pull out a .40 caliber handgun. In an effort to protect the search team, the officer fired two shots, one of which hit INMAN in the shoulder and the other passed over his shoulder.

Officers found a Hi-Point .40 caliber, semi-automatic Model JCP and a magazine with ten rounds of ammunition at INMAN’s feet. INMAN was administered first aid by EMS at the scene and then taken to the hospital. Approximately $4,700.00 in U. S. Currency and four video poker machines were found.

Mr. Holding commented on the verdict, “The facts of this case are a stark reminder of the dangers posed by armed felons in our communities. It is fortunate that the brave officers who investigated this case were not injured when the defendant pulled the handgun on them. Justice has been served and we are pleased with the outcome of the sentencing.”

Investigation of the case was conducted by the Wilmington Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney J. Gaston B. Williams served as prosecutor for the government.

News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce

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