Fayetteville Man Sentenced for Felon in Possession Charge
RALEIGH – The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Robert J. Higdon, Jr., announced that today, STERLIN KOREN WHITTED, 40, of Fayetteville, North Carolina, was sentenced by Chief United States District Judge James C. Dever, III to 66 months imprisonment followed by 3 years of supervised release.
WHITTED was named in an Indictment on September 12, 2017 charging him with Possession of a Firearm by a Felon. On November 13, 2017, WHITTED pled guilty to the charge.
On April 14, 2017, an officer from the Fayetteville Police Department initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle driven by WHITTED. Upon approach, the officer observed an open container of alcohol in the vehicle. A search conducted of the vehicle resulted in the seizure of a .40 caliber handgun, loaded with 13 rounds of ammunition, and one round of 9mm ammunition.
Further investigation determined the handgun had been reported stolen. WHITTED admitted to owning the gun for a few months.
On September 14, 2017, law enforcement officers were conducting surveillance on WHITTED’s residence in Fayetteville in an attempt to arrest WHITTED for an outstanding felony warrant in the above-referenced incident. Whitted exited the passenger side of a vehicle and approached the residence. He was apprehended shortly thereafter. A search of WHITTED revealed he was wearing a firearm holster. WHITTED then admitted that a handgun was located in the living room of his apartment. A subsequent search of the residence resulted in the seizure of a .40 caliber handgun, loaded with 14 rounds of ammunition; six rounds of 9mm ammunition; a box of .40 caliber ammunition. The investigation determined that the handgun seized fit the holster WHITTED was wearing. Based on the investigation, WHITTED is accountable for the unlawful possession of two firearms, one of which was stolen.
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. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting 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.
In support of PSN, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina has implemented the Take Back North Carolina Initiative. 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.
The investigation of this case was conducted by the Fayetteville Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF). Assistant United States Attorney S. Katherine Burnette handled the prosecution of this case for the government.