News and Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

MONDAY - March 29, 2010

ROSE HILL FELON SENTENCED FOR UNLAWFUL FIREARMS POSSESSION

WILMINGTON - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court on March 25, 2010, Senior United States District Judge James C. Fox sentenced ARMON LEWIS PINION, 71, of Rose Hill, North Carolina, to 120 months’ imprisonment followed by three years’ supervised release.

A Federal Grand Jury returned a Superseding Criminal Indictment on July 9, 2009. On December 11, 2009, a jury found PINION guilty of unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Evidence presented at trial revealed that the Duplin County Sheriff’s Office received information that firearms could be purchased from PINION, a multi-convicted felon. On July 9, 2008, a controlled purchase of an automatic rifle was arranged and executed, where an UZI 9mm rifle was purchased. However, it turned out to be a semi-automatic; not fully automatic as advertised. A couple of hours later, PINION was contacted in order to have part of the money returned because of this difference. PINION instead kept the money in exchange for a .45 caliber revolver.

On July 16, 2008, a second controlled buy was attempted, however, PINION becoming suspicious, stalled and ultimately returned to his house. During a traffic stop shortly thereafter, he was arrested.

PINION has eight felony convictions dating back to the 1950's. This is his third federal felony conviction.

Mr. Holding stated, “This defendant is exactly the type of offender for which the Project Safe Neighborhoods Program was designed. A repeat offender whose experience in criminal court did nothing to deter his criminal career.”

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 Duplin County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney John Bennett represented the government.

News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.

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