News and Press Releases

wilmington man sentenced for drug sale and using firearm during and in relation to the drug sale

November 15, 2013


RALEIGH - United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that in federal court today Chief United States District Judge James C. Dever III, sentenced WILLIS SARVIS, 35, of Wilmington, North Carolina to life imprisonment followed by 5 years of supervised release.

On January 16, 2013, SARVIS was found guilty by a federal jury of the distribution of a quantity of phencyclidine in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1)  and the possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(c).  On February 21, 2012, SARVIS pled guilty to being felon in possession of a firearm in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(g)(1) and 924.

On March 18, 2011, in Wilmington, officers responded to the Hillcrest Housing Community regarding a man that was shot, and ultimately died from his injuries.  The investigation revealed that during the course of a drug deal, the victim had been shot twice with a Romarm/Cugir, WASR, 7.62 x 39 mm assault rifle.  There were numerous shell casings from the rifle in the area and the investigation revealed two homes were also struck with bullets.  The investigation quickly focused on Mr. SARVIS who had left the rifle with a friend who gave the rifle over to law enforcement.  Police located SARVIS and took him into custody where he confessed to selling the deceased two small bags of PCP and shooting him when an altercation arose between them.  SARVIS claimed the shooting was in self-defense. 

Investigation of this case was conducted by the Wilmington Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.  Special Assistant United States Attorney Charity Wilson served as prosecutor for the government. Ms. Wilson is a prosecutor with the New Hanover County District Attorney's Office.  District Attorney Ben David has assigned her to the United States Attorney's Office to prosecute federal Project Safe Neighborhood cases and other violent crime cases.



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