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Press Release

Sanford Man Sentenced to 54 Months for Illegally Possessing a Firearm and Ammunition

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

RALEIGH – Robert J. Higdon, Jr., the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, announces that United States District Judge James C. Dever, III sentenced MARQUIS ANTIONE BARNES, 20, of Sanford to 54 months’ imprisonment, followed by 3 years of supervised released.

On November 7, 2018, BARNES was named in a one-count Indictment charging him with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.  On January 7, 2019, BARNERS pled guilty to the charge. 

On September 5, 2018, during an investigation into a case involving stolen firearms and drug distribution, the Harnett County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) obtained permission to search a telephone of an individual.  During the search, a video with the name of “Marquis 919” was located.  In this video, the male, identified as BARNES, was seen with a Glock semi-automatic handgun, which contained an extended magazine.  Another video located showed BARNES sleeping with a Glock with an extended magazine located near him.  The weapon appeared to be the same weapon in both videos.

On September 8, 2018, a deputy with the HSCO conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle.  When the deputy approached the vehicle, an odor of marijuana was detected.  BARNES was in the front passenger seat and an unidentified passenger was in the back seat.  All three individuals were removed from the vehicle and, after searching the vehicle, the deputy seized a small bag of marijuana.  At that time, the deputy conducted a search of the occupants to determine if they had any outstanding warrants.  BARNES had a warrant for his arrest for Possession of a Firearm in Harnett County and he was arrested.  Further search of the vehicle resulted in the seizure of a Glock 9mm handgun containing an extended magazine with 23 rounds of ammunition located between the passenger seat and center console.  BARNES stated the gun was his.

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. 

This case is also part of 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 on a sustained basis in those communities to reduce the violence crime rate, drug trafficking, and crimes against law enforcement.

The investigation of this case was conducted by the Harnett County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). 

Assistant United States Attorney Daniel W. Smith prosecuted the case for the government.

Updated April 15, 2019

Project Safe Neighborhoods