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Press Release

Plymouth Gang Member Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison in Connection with July 2021 Shooting

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

NEW BERN, N.C. – A Plymouth man was sentenced to 120 months in prison for possessing a firearm as a felon that he allegedly used to shoot a rival gang member on the afternoon of Sunday, July 25, 2021.  On March 12, 2024, Melvin Donnell Gilliam, age 35, pled guilty to the charges.

“We’re meeting gun violence head on, working side by side with local law enforcement to dismantle violent gangs and get shooters off the streets,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Easley. “Many thanks to the FBI and our local partners for helping to keep our streets safe all across North Carolina.  We’ll keep up the work until every community can live, work, and play in peace.” 

According to court documents and other information presented in court, Gilliam, a member of the Nine-Trey Bloods and another individual went to a home in the White City neighborhood of Plymouth, where two members of a rival gang, the Eight-Trey Crips, were located. Gilliam engaged in a verbal altercation with the rivals and then brandished a firearm as the other man he arrived with knocked one of the rivals to the ground. Gilliam is then alleged to have opened fire at one of the rivals, striking him in the back and left thigh. When officers arrived, they discovered a Springfield Armory Hellcat 9mm pistol with blood on it in a trashcan in the backyard of the residence where the shooting took place. Officers also found three shell casings that matched the gun in the trashcan. The N.C. State Crime Lab tested the blood on the firearm and hypothesized that it was much more likely Gilliam’s DNA than not.

Gilliam is charged in state court with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, discharging a firearm within city limits, assault with a deadly weapon and being a habitual felon. These charges remain pending.

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Louise W. Flanagan. The FBI  investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Phil Aubart  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. 2:22-CR-16-FL.

Updated June 14, 2024

Firearms Offenses