Fayetteville Man Sentenced for Felon in Possession and Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime
RALEIGH – The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Robert J. Higdon, Jr., announced that today in federal court, Chief United States District Judge James C. Dever, III sentenced RAYMOND DEMONT NEAL, 38, of Fayetteville to 78 months of imprisonment followed by 5 years of supervised release.
NEAL was named in a three-count Indictment filed on March 7, 2017. On September 11, 2017, NEAL subsequently pled guilty to one-count of Felon in Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition and one-count of Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug-Trafficking Crime.
On October 16, 2016, an officer from the Fayetteville Police Department (FPD), observed a vehicle fail to stop for a stop sign. The officer attempted to initiate a traffic stop; however, the driver, NEAL, did not immediately stop, instead pulling into the driveway of his home and exiting the vehicle. The officer ordered NEAL to stop, but the defendant continued to walk towards the door of the residence. NEAL attempted to unlock the door and officers tried to place NEAL into custody, but he was uncooperative. It took several officers to handcuff NEAL, who refused to place his hands behind his back or get into the patrol vehicle. Officers suspected NEAL was intoxicated due to his blood shot eyes and the strong odor of alcohol on his breath. Officers stayed on scene until a search warrant for NEAL’s vehicle was granted and served. A search of the vehicle revealed a .45 caliber pistol loaded with 6 rounds of ammunition, 40.26 grams of Dibutylone, 13.48 grams of marijuana, a digital scale, a pocket knife, baggies, and a box cutter.
NEAL, a convicted felon, illegally possessed a firearm and ammunition during and in relationship to a drug-trafficking crime. NEAL also possessed a firearm during and in relationship to a shooting incident on January 22, 2016.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made turning the tide of rising violent crime in America a top priority. In October 2017, as part of a series of actions to address this crime trend, Attorney General Sessions announced the reinvigoration of PSN and directed all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to develop a district crime reduction strategy that incorporates the lessons learned since PSN launched in 2001.
The Fayetteville Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) conducted the criminal investigation of this case. Assistant United States Attorney S. Katherine Burnette handled the prosecution of this case for the government.