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Press Release

Convicted Felon from Selma Gets 10 Years in Federal Prison After Shooting a Firearm Into Neighboring Apartment

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of North Carolina

RALEIGH – Robert J. Higdon, Jr., the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, announces that United States District Judge James C. Dever III, sentenced DARNELL THOMAS BROWN, 29, of Selma to 120 months’ imprisonment, followed by 3 years of supervised released.

On December 11, 2018, BROWN, pled guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm.  On February 26, 2018, the Selma Police Department responded to a report of a shot fired into an occupied apartment.  A man told police that his neighbor, BROWN, discharged a firearm into a bedroom occupied by minor children.  Responding officers searched BROWN’s apartment, but he was not found at that time.  In the apartment, officers found cocaine and marijuana, along with ammunition and rifle accessories.  In the area outside of the apartment, officers found a rifle loaded with a high-capacity magazine and two handguns, one of which had been stolen.  Selma Police removed the firearms, but set up a camera system which captured BROWN returning to that area and appearing to look for the firearms.  BROWN was eventually apprehended and admitted that he accidentally shot into the neighboring apartment.  At the time of the offense, BROWN was a convicted felon and could not lawfully possess a firearm.     

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  Since 2017, the United States Department of Justice has reinvigorated the PSN program and has targeted violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime. 

That effort has been implemented through the Take Back North Carolina Initiative of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina.  This initiative emphasizes the regional assignment of federal prosecutors to work with law enforcement and District Attorney’s Offices on a sustained basis in those communities to reduce the violence crime rate, drug trafficking, and crimes against law enforcement.

The investigation of this case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and the Selma Police Department. 

Assistant United States Attorney Robert J. Dodson prosecuted the case for the government.

Updated May 29, 2019

Project Safe Neighborhoods