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Press Release

Raleigh Man Convicted of Firearms Offenses

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

RALEIGH - United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr. announced that DAMIEN NOWELL of Raleigh was convicted following a jury trial of two federal firearms violations.  The charges arose from a search warrant executed at NOWELL’S residence at 2416 Evers Drive in Raleigh on February 4, 2015.


In a jury trial held before Chief United States District Judge James C. Dever, III, NOWELL was convicted of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and felon in possession of a firearm.  The evidence presented at trial revealed that as members of the Raleigh Police Department Gang Suppression Unit began to execute a search warrant at the defendant’s residence, NOWELL was located in a bathroom attempting to flush approximately 70 grams of cocaine down the toilet.  The cocaine was recovered.  During the search, a Beretta .40 caliber handgun was recovered from underneath an air mattress in NOWELL’s bedroom, loaded with 14 rounds of ammunition, including one in the chamber.  A search following the arrest resulted in the recovery of an additional 7 grams of cocaine from NOWELL’s person, in addition to over $1,400.00 in cash.  NOWELL confessed to the cocaine but denied possession of the firearm.


NOWELL was also charged with federal narcotics offenses, to which he pled guilty at an earlier hearing.  Chief Judge Dever scheduled sentencing for February 5, 2018.  NOWELL faces a maximum of 10 years in prison for the felon in possession offense, plus a mandatory minimum of 5 consecutive years for the possession of the firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.  He faces a maximum of 20 years for the drug crimes to which he pled guilty earlier.


This case is 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.


Investigation of this case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Raleigh Police Department.  Assistant United States Attorney John Bennett is prosecuting the case.

Updated November 1, 2017

Project Safe Neighborhoods