Raleigh Blood Gang Member Sentenced to 15 Years Imprisonment for Felon in Possession Charge
RALEIGH – The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Robert J. Higdon, Jr., announced that yesterday in federal court, Chief United States District Judge James C. Dever, III sentenced ERNEST JAMES HOLLAND, III, 27, of Raleigh to 180 months of imprisonment followed by 4 years of supervised release.
HOLLAND was named in a one-count Indictment filed on January 26, 2016. On May 19, 2016, HOLLAND subsequently pled guilty to one-count of Felon in Possession of a Firearm.
On January 5, 2016, an officer with the Raleigh Police Department Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) saw HOLLAND in court at the Wake County Justice Center. The GSU was conducting surveillance in the downtown area due to recent firearm related violence in the area. The GSU was further interested in communicating with HOLLAND, as they were aware that HOLLAND was a member of the Bloods gang. The GSU decided to surveil HOLLAND as he left the courthouse with a female. They surveilled HOLLAND to his mother’s residence where HOLLAND stayed on occasion. The GSU was aware of two prior suspected gang related incidents when gunshots were fired into HOLLAND’s mother’s residence on March 11, 2015, and on December 13, 2015. During surveillance, officers observed HOLLAND exiting the residence, where HOLLAND then retrieved an object from a vehicle parked in the driveway. HOLLAND then walked to the Moore Square Transit Mall. Based on the officers’ training and HOLLAND’s behavior, the officers believed that HOLLAND was concealing a firearm. An officer approached HOLLAND at the Moore Square Transit Mall and asked him for identification, which HOLLAND provided. When the officer told HOLLAND that he was going to conduct a weapon’s frisk, HOLLAND fled on foot. Several officers assisted in the foot pursuit as HOLLAND ran outside into Moore Square Park. During the chase, an officer observed HOLLAND reach into his waistband and retrieve a handgun. HOLLAND continued to run with the handgun for approximately 45 feet before throwing it into a flowerbed in the park. While officers were chasing HOLLAND, they were yelling at him to drop the gun, while also instructing bystanders to move to the sidewalks and to clear the park. Shortly thereafter, HOLLAND was apprehended and taken into custody. Another officer recovered a .40 caliber handgun, which was loaded with ten rounds of ammunition.
This case was part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) initiative which encourages federal, state, and local agencies to cooperate in a unified “team effort” against gun crime, targeting repeat offenders who continually plague their communities.
The Raleigh Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) conducted the criminal investigation of this case. Assistant United States Attorney S. Katherine Burnette handled the prosecution of this case for the government.