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Press Release

Elizabeth City Man Sentenced to Imprisonment for Possessing Gun After Spree of Breaking and Enterings

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

RALEIGH — United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr., announced that today in federal court, Chief United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle, sentenced TYRESE ANTRON COFIELD, 37, of Elizabeth City to 78 months’ imprisonment, followed by 3 years of supervised release.  COFIELD was named in a single-count Indictment on May 9, 2019, charging him with possession of a firearm by a felon.  On November 26, 2019, he pled guilty to a single-count Criminal Information charging the same offense. 

According to the investigation, in early October 2018, the Elizabeth City Police Department was investigating a string of home and vehicle break-ins that had occurred over the previous several weeks.  Detectives reviewed GPS monitoring data from defendant Tyrese COFIELD, who was subject to post-release electronic monitoring from previous breaking and entering (B&E) convictions in state court.  COFIELD’s GPS data placed him at the location of numerous break-ins, including 13 open investigations of residential B&E, and seven additional vehicular B&E investigations.  The GPS data showed that COFIELD often returned to his residence after visiting the locations of these break-ins.

On October 4, 2018, law enforcement executed a search warrant for COFIELD’s Elizabeth City residence.  In COFIELD’s bedroom, they found numerous items that had been reported stolen, including IDs and bank cards belonging to B&E victims.  Also in COFIELD’s room, officers found a Taurus 9mm handgun, loaded with one round.  Having already sustained over 40 state felony convictions for property, drug, and firearm crimes, COFIELD was prohibited from possessing a firearm.

This case is part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) program.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in 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 violent crime rate, drug trafficking, and crimes against law enforcement.  For more information about this initiative click here:

The Elizabeth City Police Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) conducted the investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Jake D. Pugh represented the government.


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Updated January 30, 2020

Project Safe Neighborhoods