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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of North Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 21, 2019

Man Sentenced to More than 16 Years for Violent Hobbs Act Robbery in Elizabeth City

ELIZABETH CITY – United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr. announced that today in federal court, Chief United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle sentenced NATHAN LAMONTE SILVER, 44, of Clarksville, Tennessee to 200 months imprisonment, followed by 3 years of supervised release.

SILVER was named in an Indictment filed on May 2, 2018 charging him with a Hobbs Act Robbery on October 19, 2017.  On November 5, 2018, SILVER pled guilty to the charge.   

According to the investigation,  on October 19, 2017, SILVER entered Star One Tobacco and Wine in Elizabeth City and went to the beer cooler of the store. SILVER picked up a beer and immediately dropped it.  After acquiring another beer, the defendant took it to the register and attempted to pay with a credit card; however, the card was declined.  SILVER advised the clerk, who is also the store owner, he would be back with some money.  Thinking SILVER had left the store, the clerk went to the back room in order to get a broom to clean up the broken beer bottle.  SILVER entered the back room behind the clerk, punched the clerk, knocking the clerk to the ground, and locked the door to the room.  The clerk told SILVER to take the money from the register and leave.  Instead, SILVER continued punching the clerk in the head, pulled a pocket knife, and stabbed it into the left side of the clerk’s neck.  The clerk was able to kick the knife breaking the blade from the handle.  SILVER attempted to stab the clerk on top of the head with the knife handle.  Finally, SILVER placed the clerk in a headlock cutting off the clerk’s air supply; however, he did not lose consciousness.

While SILVER and the clerk struggled in the backroom, an off-duty employee entered the store and heard the clerk yelling for help from the backroom.  Noticing the door was locked and hearing a commotion in the room, the off-duty employee kicked in the door, startling SILVER, who released the clerk.  The clerk and off-duty employee fled from the building.  SILVER then broke into the cash register and stole $2,360 before exiting the business.

Emergency personnel were called, and the wounded clerk was taken to a nearby hospital; however, due to the severity of his injuries, the clerk had to be airlifted to a hospital in Norfolk, Virginia, for treatment of a throat laceration, head trauma, and a swollen left ear.  Early in the morning on October 20, 2017, Elizabeth City Police Departmane officers located and arrested SILVER without incident. SILVER was still in possession of the knife handle when he was apprehended.  The stolen money was not recovered.

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.   Since 2017 the United States Department of Justice has reinvigorated the PSN program and has targeted 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.

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.

Investigation of this case was conducted by the Elizabeth City Police Department and the Bureau Alchol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  Assistant United States Attorney Charity L. Wilson represented the government. 

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated February 21, 2019