News and Press Releases


WEDNESDAY - December 7, 2011


WILMINGTON - United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that in federal court today Senior United State District Judge James C. Fox sentenced two defendants for the armed robbery of the Fuel Warehouse in New Bern, North Carolina. JEFFERY JEROME CHAPMAN 30, received to 327 months’ imprisonment followed by five years’ supervised release and GERALD LEE BANKS, 37, received 240 months’ imprisonment followed by five years’ supervised release. Additionally, BANKS was ordered to pay a $10,000.00 fine and each defendant was ordered to pay restitution of $424.00.

A Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment on April 13, 2011. On August 1, 2011, both defendants pled guilty to Hobbs Act Robbery and using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence or possession of a firearm in furtherance of the crime.

According to the investigation, on July 19, 2010, the Fuel Warehouse on South Glenburnie Road in New Bern, North Carolina, was robbed by two males using a handgun and each wearing a stocking mask. The robbers fled with $324.00 in cash and cigarettes valued at $90.00. New Bern Police Investigators released surveillance photographs, and CHAPMAN and BANKS were identified as the suspects. Both were subsequently arrested and confessed to the armed robbery. This case was part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) initiative 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 Explosive and the New Bern Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney John Bennett is serving as prosecutor for the government.

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