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Press Release

Fayetteville Probationer Sentenced to 41 Months for Possession of a Firearm

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

RALEIGH, N.C. – A Fayetteville man was sentenced today to 41 months in prison for unlawfully possessing a firearm.

According to court documents, on June 26, 2019, North Carolina Probation Officers, supported by the Bureau of Tobacco, Alcohol, Firearms, and Explosives Agents, conducted a probation search at Johnathan Muhammed Martinez’s residence, as part of a larger probation operation known as Operation Zero Hour II.  In Martinez’s closet, authorities found a Mossberg Shotgun with a pistol grip.  Martinez was serving a 24-month state probationary sentence for a Felony Hit and Run conviction after a drug deal went awry.    

Despite numerous attempts by Martinez to have others claim the firearm, both during arrest and while in custody, Martinez pled guilty to his Indictment on March 11, 2020.  Noting Martinez’s obstructive behavior and numerous violations of the trust placed in him by previous courts, U.S. District Judge James C. Dever, III sentenced Martinez to the top of the advisory sentencing guideline range.  The Court deemed this sentence appropriate to promote respect for the law and deter others from committing similar crimes.

This case is 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 violent crime rate, drug trafficking, and crimes against law enforcement.  For more information about this initiative click here:

Robert J. Higdon, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III.   The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, in support of North Carolina Probation and Parole authorities, investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney J.D. Koesters  prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release is located on our website. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 5:19-CR-00461-D.

The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice.  Learn more about the history of our agency at



Updated June 19, 2020

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Firearms Offenses