News and Press Releases


MONDAY - October 5, 2009


RALEIGH - A Rocky Mount man pled guilty in federal court today to unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon announced United States Attorney George E.B. Holding. Senior United States District Judge W. Earl Britt presided over the hearing.

Ernest Dennis Brown, 44, was charged by Criminal Indictment on August 19, 2009.

On March 27, 2009, police received information that a man with a gun was standing in front of Carver Mini Mart on Carver Road in Raleigh. Officers were dispatched to the area and when they approached the man, later identified as Brown, Brown fled the area, going around the store to a cooler. Officers apprehended Brown and, upon search of the area where Brown had been, found a loaded Smith and Wesson .357 Magnum revolver behind the cooler.

Mr. Holding commented, “When criminals have an extensive history, as seen in the defendant’s past, it is appropriate, utilizing the Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative, for the federal government to oversee the prosecution and sentencing. Apparently this defendant didn’t get the message from earlier prosecutions and a more substantial penalty needs to be administered in order to get his attention. Others should pay attention as well.”

Brown’s felonious convictions include common law robbery, larceny from the person, possession of cocaine, attempted common law robbery, and felon in possession of a firearm.

The maximum penalty is up to 10 years imprisonment followed by up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. If the Court deems Brown an Armed Career Criminal, the penalties are enhanced to up to life imprisonment followed by up to five years of supervised release.

Sentencing has been set for January 4, 2010.

This case was part of the 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 this case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Raleigh Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Ethan Ontjes represented the government.

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

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