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Press Release

Man Sentenced to More Than 9 Years for Possessing a Handgun as a Felon After Altercation at Grocery Store

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

RALEIGH, N.C. – A Tarboro man was sentenced today to 114 months in prison for possessing a handgun as a convicted felon.  On September 22, 2021, Bernard Eugene Phillips pled guilty to the charges.

According to court documents and other information presented in court, Phillips, 43, pulled a loaded handgun during an argument at Brown’s Grocery Store located in Tarboro, North Carolina.  When Tarboro police officers responded and attempted to arrest Phillips, Phillips fought with the officers and spit on them.  Even after he was in handcuffs, Phillips continued to physically resist the officers.  After they were able to secure Phillips, the officers recovered the handgun which was found in Phillips’s waistband.  The handgun was determined to be stolen after officers secured it from Phillips.

Michael Easley, 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 Tarboro Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney John Parris prosecuted the case.

Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 4:21-cr-00007-D.

Updated February 17, 2022

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