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Press Release

Raleigh Man Sentenced to 57 Months for Illegally Possessing a Firearm

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

RALEIGH – United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr. announced that today in federal court, United States District Judge James C. Dever III sentenced MICHAEL ANTONIO GATLING, 37, of Raleigh, North Carolina, to 57 months’ imprisonment, followed by 3 years of supervised released.

GATLING was named in a three-count Indictment on September 19, 2018. Count One charged Possession of a Firearm by a Felon; Count Two charged Possession of a Firearm With a Removed, Altered, or Obliterated Serial Number; and Count Three charged Possession With Intent to Distribute a Quantity of Marijuana. On May 20, 2019, GATLING pled guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Felon. 

On June 15, 2018, the Raleigh Police Department received information from a concerned citizen alleging that GATLING was selling drugs in front of a laundromat in Raleigh. Additionally, the anonymous source stated that GATLING possessed a firearm either in his vehicle or on his person. Upon arrival at the scene, investigators observed GATLING as described by the source of information. GATLING informed investigators that the vehicle he was beside was his and stated that there was no firearm present. GATLING refused to give consent to search his vehicle. Investigators observed in plain sight the handle of a large knife; a lump under the driver’s side floor mat, which appeared consistent with the shape of a firearm; white powder, believed to be cocaine; and a small amount of marijuana inside of GATLING’S vehicle.

Investigators seized a 9mm semi-automatic pistol, 10 rounds of ammunition, 6 grams of marijuana and a knife from GATLING and/or his vehicle. GATLING denied ownership of the firearm. Investigation determined that the firearm had an obliterated serial number and GATLING was prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition due to his prior felony convictions.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  Since 2017 the United States Department of Justice has reinvigorated the PSN program and has targeted violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime. 

That effort has been implemented through the Take Back North Carolina Initiative of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina. This initiative emphasizes the regional assignment of federal prosecutors to work with law enforcement and District Attorney’s Offices in those communities on a sustained basis to reduce the violent crime rate, drug trafficking, and crimes against law enforcement.

The investigation of this case was conducted by the Raleigh Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  Assistant United States Attorney Daniel W. Smith prosecuted the case for the government.

Updated August 28, 2019

Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods