News and Press Releases

previously convicted felon found guilty of gun charges

MAY 9, 2012

ELIZABETH CITY - United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that yesterday a federal jury convicted STEPHEN BRADFORD NICHOLS, 33, of Washington, North Carolina, of unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(g)(1), and possession of stolen firearms, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(j).  United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle presided over the trial.

According to evidence presented at trial, on October 18, 2010, local law enforcement received a call regarding a home intrusion.  It was reported that 2 shotguns, 2 rifles, and a bow with arrows were stolen.  That same day another report of a break-in was received that included several firearms that were missing.

On October 20, 2010, local law enforcement received information that NICHOLS was trying to sell firearms.  On October 28, 2010, after learning that NICHOLS was wanted by law enforcement, another individual reported that NICHOLS had tried to sell this person a bow and arrows.  The firearms and the bow with arrows were turned over to law enforcement.  The bow and arrows and the firearms matched those which had been reported stolen.

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.

The maximum penalty for each charge is up to 10 years imprisonment.  However, if the Court deems NICHOLS an Armed Career Criminal pursuant to Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(e), the maximum penalty for a convicted felon unlawfully possessing a firearm increases to up to a life-term of imprisonment.

Investigation of this case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office.  Assistant United States Attorney Kimbery Moore is prosecuting the case.








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