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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of North Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 18, 2019

Convicted Felon Who Stole Four Firearms from Elizabeth City Resident Sentenced to 6 Years in Federal Prison

RALEIGH – Robert J. Higdon, Jr., the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, announces today that Chief United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle sentenced EARL WALLACE JEFFERS, III, 28, of Elizabeth City to 72 months’ imprisonment, followed by 3 years of supervised released

On January 17, 2019, JEFFERS pled guilty to possession of firearms by a convicted felon and possession of stolen firearms. 

On January 30, 2018, an Elizabeth City resident reported to the Elizabeth City Police Department (ECPD) that a breaking and entering had occurred at his home with several items missing, including four firearms.  The next day on January 31, 2018, another Elizabeth City resident contacted ECPD regarding three firearms he purchased from JEFFERS to inquire if they had been stolen.  Police confirmed that the three firearms were those stolen from the homeowner the day before.  The fourth firearm was never recovered.  Surveillance footage from a nearby business captures JEFFERS in the vicinity of the residence before, during, and after the breaking and entering.  JEFFERS is a convicted felon and was therefore prohibited from possessing firearms.    

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. 

This case is also part of 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 Elizabeth City Police Department. 

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

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated April 18, 2019