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Press Release

First Of Three Co-Defendants Sentenced In Gun Trafficking Case

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

WILMINGTON – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina announced that today in federal court, Senior United States District Judge James C. Fox sentenced AHKEEM DONTE PRATT, 24, to 188 months imprisonment, followed by 3 years of supervised release.

AHKEEM DONTE PRATT and two co-defendants were named in a seventeen count Indictment filed on March 24, 2015, charging him with conspiracy, theft of firearms from Federal Firearms Licensees, possession of stolen firearms, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, interstate transportation of stolen firearms, and dealing in firearms without a license.  On November 30, 2015, PRATT pled guilty to conspiracy, theft of firearms from a Federal Firearms Licensee, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and interstate transportation of stolen firearms. 

According to the investigation, beginning in August, 2014, and continuing until December 5, 2014, PRATT and two co-defendants broke into numerous Federal Firearm Licensees around Eastern and Central North Carolina, stealing almost 200 firearms. PRATT and his co-defendants used various tools, including bolt cutters and hammers, to gain entry into such businesses to steal the firearms.  Most of these incidents were captured on store surveillance video.  Agents were able to obtain DNA from one of the tools left behind at the scene of a robbery and it matched a co-defendant.  On two occasions PRATT and others drove to New Jersey and sold the stolen firearms to a third party. The stolen firearms were ultimately recovered from crime scenes in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Jersey, among other places. The crimes to which the recovered firearms were linked included various violent crimes, including rape, a robbery, and a murder. 

Investigation of this case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant United States Attorney Carrie Randa represented the government.  The two remaining co-defendants will be sentenced at later dates.

Updated March 9, 2016