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Press Release

Raleigh Blood Gang Member Sentenced for Illegally Possessing a Firearm

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

NEW BERN – United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr. announced that today, United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan sentenced Mohammed hakim upchurch, 25, of Raleigh to 60 months’ imprisonment, followed by 3 years of supervised release.

UPCHURCH was named in a Criminal Information filed on July 24, 2019, charging him with Possession of a Firearm by a Felon.  On July 24, 2019, UPCHURCH pled guilty to that charge. 

According to the investigation, On October 6, 2018, an officer with the Raleigh Police Department was patrolling the area of the Birchwood Apartments at the request of the property manager, who wanted trespassing laws enforced due to violent crime and illegal drug activity that frequently occurred in and around the apartment complex.  During patrol, the officer observed UPCHURCH, walking between two apartment buildings.  The officer knew that UPCHURCH did not reside in the apartment complex and that UPCHURCH was on state probation. Additionally, the apartment complex had “No Trespassing” signs posted.  The officer observed UPCHURCH standing alone on a porch.  As the officer approached, UPCHURCH picked up his belongings and tried to walk away.  The officer advised UPCHURCH that he was trespassing.  UPCHURCH stated that he was knocking on a friend’s door, but they would not answer.  As the officer attempted to detain him, UPCHURCH tried to walk away.  The officer then grabbed his arm, as UPCHURCH pulled way and tried to enter the apartment.  The officer and UPCHURCH struggled as UPCHURCH continued attempts to escape until an additional officer arrived, and he was finally placed in handcuffs.  A search of UPCHURCH incident to arrest found a .380 caliber handgun and six bullets in the magazine.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, and the Raleigh Police Department conducted the investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Daniel W. Smith represented the government.

Updated December 18, 2019

Firearms Offenses