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Press Release

Convicted Felon Who Hid A Firearm In Midst Of Police Chase Changes Plea To Guilty On Day Scheduled For Trial

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

NEW BERN - United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that in federal court today before United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan, ANTHONY EARL RIVERS, 25, of Dudley, North Carolina changed his plea from “not guilty” to “guilty” on a charge of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon in and Affecting Commerce, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(g) and 924.

On May 4, 2012, the Mt. Olive Police Department received a tip from a confidential informant that RIVERS, operating under the alias of “Worm”, had just been seen driving another individual who had been involved with an assault with a firearm on Claytor Street in Mt. Olive.  The Mt. Olive Police Department immediately began to look for RIVERS and the individual who was reported to have committed the assault using a firearm.  Officers located RIVERS and the other individual a few blocks away on Slocum Street and attempted a traffic stop.  As soon as RIVERS pulled into a driveway the passenger jumped out of the vehicle and ran on foot.  Mt. Olive police immediately gave foot chase, leaving RIVERS momentarily alone in the driver’s seat of his car.

RIVERS’ actions when he was alone in the car were captured on the exterior video camera of a Mt. Olive police cruiser.  The video showed RIVERS quickly exiting his vehicle and leaning down into a bush located within a few feet of the car.  By the time other officers arrived on the scene RIVERS was already attempting to drive away.  RIVERS was stopped by other officers before he could leave.

Officers canvassed the area of the chase but were not able to locate a firearm.  After searching the vehicle and discovering no firearm, RIVERS was allowed to leave the scene.  Within minutes, however, officers discovered the firearm, an Armscor, model Citadel, .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol, located in the bush adjacent to the car.  Officers immediately left the scene, found RIVERS, and took him into custody.  While RIVERS initially denied knowledge of the firearm, he later made statements admitting that he had “stashed” the firearm.

At the sentencing in this case, which is presently scheduled for the August term of court in New Bern, RIVERS faces up to ten years of imprisonment, up to $250,000 in fines, and as much as three years of supervised release.  RIVERS was previously detained as a danger to the community, and will therefore be held in custody until the time of his sentencing.  

Investigation of this case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) with the assistance of the Mt. Olive Police Department.  Assistant United States Attorney William M. Gilmore is prosecuting the case.

Updated July 14, 2015