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Press Release

Raleigh Man Sentenced for Firearm Offense After Reoffending on State Probation

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

NEW BERN, N.C. – Tauheed Rochelle of Raleigh was sentenced today to 58 months in prison for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.  On December 21, 2020, Rochelle pled guilty to the charge.  At the time of his arrest, Rochelle was on state probation for two felony drug offenses.  

According to court documents and statements made in court, on December 5, 2019, Raleigh Police Department officers responded to a suspicious vehicle call on Tamarino Drive in Raleigh—a location where multiple recent breaking and entering crimes had been reported.  As the officers approached, they recognized the car as a Dodge Charger belonging to Rochelle, who they were familiar with from prior encounters.  As the officers walked to the car, they smelled marijuana and saw Rochelle throw marijuana from the driver’s side window.  Officers instructed Rochelle to place his hands on the steering wheel and noticed a large bag of marijuana at the Defendant’s feet, as well as marijuana crumbs on his lap.  When asked whether there was a gun in the car, Rochelle responded, “I don’t know.” 

Officers searched the car.  In Rochelle’s driver’s seat, they saw that he had been sitting on a black sweat suit jacket that matched the pants he was wearing.  The right pocket was pushed between the seat and center console.  In that pocket, officers found a .40 caliber handgun.  Officers also recovered two digital scales, a marijuana blunt, and in the trunk, a large packaging envelope with marijuana residue. 

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.

G. Norman Acker, III, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Louise W. Flanagan.  The Raleigh Police Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) investigated the case.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Jake D. Pugh prosecuted the case.

Related court documents and information are located on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 5:20-cr-00206-FL.

Updated May 13, 2021

Project Safe Neighborhoods