FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
THURSDAY - July 14, 2011
JURY CONVICTS FAYETTEVILLE FELON OF FIREARMS CHARGES
ELIZABETH CITY - United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that in federal court yesterday a jury convicted RAMONE HAISON ETHRIDGE, 30, of unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of a stolen firearm. The two-day trial was presided over by United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle.
A Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment on June 24, 2010.
According to evidence presented at trial, on January 28, 2010, law enforcement received a 911 call regarding a residential break-in on Avoncroft Drive in Fayetteville. A witness observed a Jeep Cherokee back into the driveway of the home and watched one male get out of the vehicle, pry open the door and a second male follow the first into the home. The witness said that one of the men carried out a television, while the other carried out two rifles from the home, each putting the items in the Cherokee. The weapons were later identified as a Panther Arms model A-15 .223 caliber rifle and a Remington 870 pump shotgun.
Shortly thereafter, law enforcement located the Cherokee that matched the description that had been given. When law enforcement attempted to initiate a traffic stop of the vehicle, the driver accelerated and fled. The vehicle eventually collided with another car. ETHRIDGE and his co-defendant, Jerry Donnell Thompson, were apprehended after a foot chase.
ETHRIDGE has multiple previous felony convictions of breaking and entering and one previous felony conviction of possession with intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver cocaine.
At sentencing, set for the October 24, 2011, term of court, ETHRIDGE faces up to 10 years’ imprisonment for each charge. If he is deemed an Armed Career Criminal, the penalty for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm increases to up to a life-term of imprisonment.
Thompson pled guilty on October 18, 2010, to possession of a stolen firearm and is scheduled to be sentenced in August, 2011.
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 Explosives and the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorneys Katherine S. Burnette and Dennis Duffy prosecuted the case for 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.