News and Press Releases

Rowan County Drug And Firearm Indictments April 2008 Middle District Grand Jury Session

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 30, 2008

Greensboro, NC – Four Rowan County residents were indicted for federal criminal violations during the April 2008 Federal Grand Jury session for the Middle District of North Carolina. Anna Mills Wagoner, United States Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina, announced the following indictments, returned on Monday, April 28, 2008, and Tuesday April 29, 2008:

  • Drugs - United States v. Tamin Rajan Benjamin, 1:08CR134-1. Benjamin, 26 years of age and a resident of Kannapolis, was charged in a single-count indictment charging him with possession with intent to distribute approximately 432 grams of cocaine base “crack.” The offense is alleged to have occurred on March 12, 2008. If convicted, Benjamin faces a sentence of up to life imprisonment, up to a $4,000,000 fine, and at least five years of supervised release to follow any term of imprisonment imposed. Benjamin is currently in custody and is scheduled to be arraigned on May 8, 2008.
  • Firearms - United States v. Justin Brent Miller, 1:08CR119-1. Miller, 28 years of age and a resident of Rockwell, was charged in a single-count indictment with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The offense is alleged to have occurred on October 4, 2007, with the firearm in question being an Iver Johnson .22 caliber rifle. It is further alleged that Miller had a previous felony conviction at the time he possessed the weapon, from March 30, 2007, in Rowan County Superior Court, for the offenses of possession of a firearm by a felon and larceny of a firearm. If convicted, Miller faces a sentence of up to 10 years imprisonment, up to a $250,000 fine, and up to three years of supervised release to follow any term of imprisonment imposed. Miller is not presently in custody.
  • Firearms - United States v. Richard Darryl Pruitt, 1:08CR133-1. Pruitt, 40 years of age and a resident of Salisbury, was charged in a single-count indictment with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The offense is alleged to have occurred on October 24, 2007, with the firearm in question being a Llama .45 caliber pistol. It is further alleged that Pruitt had a previous felony conviction at the time he possessed the weapon, from May 6, 1994, in Rowan County Superior Court, for the offense of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury. If convicted, Pruitt faces a sentence of up to 10 years imprisonment, up to a $250,000 fine, and up to three years of supervised release to follow any term of imprisonment imposed. Pruitt is currently in custody and is scheduled to be arraigned in June 2008.
  • Firearms - United States v. Kamario Emmanuel Palmer, 1:08CR125-1. Palmer, 31 years of age and a resident of Salisbury, was charged in a single-count indictment with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The offense is alleged to have occurred on January 22, 2008, with the firearm in question being a Llama .45 caliber pistol. It is further alleged that Palmer had a previous felony conviction at the time he possessed the weapon, from September 22, 2004, in Rowan County District Court, for the offense of possession of a stolen firearm. If convicted, Palmer faces a sentence of up to 10 years imprisonment, up to a $250,000 fine, and up to three years of supervised release to follow any term of imprisonment imposed. Palmer is currently in custody and is scheduled to be arraigned in June 2008.

The actual sentence in each of the above cases will be determined by the Court under the advisory Federal Sentencing Guidelines which depend upon a number of factors unique to each case, including a defendant's prior criminal record, if any, the defendant's role in the offense and the unique characteristics of the violation. The sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.

United States Attorney Anna Mills Wagoner stated that these indictments demonstrate the positive outcome of cooperation among federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, and is a serious attempt to address violent crime in Rowan County.

An indictment is merely a formal way of bringing charges against an individual. All persons charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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