Trigger Man in Wilmington Funeral Home Shooting Sentenced to More Than 19 Years for Drug and Gun Charges
RALEIGH — The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Robert J. Higdon, Jr., announced that today, Chief United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle sentenced Jason gregory Alan Brown, 31, of Snow Hill to 120 months’ imprisonment, followed by 5 years of supervised release. On February 6, 2019, Brown pled guilty to a three-count indictment, charging Hobbs Act robbery, brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
The evidence established that on February 20, 2018, BROWN robbed the HI-5 Sweepstakes Vapor Shop in Goldsboro, North Carolina. After spending a few minutes in the business, BROWN approached the cashier and pulled out a silver handgun, which one of the victims identified as a .22 or .25 caliber firearm. He pointed the gun at the teller and demanded money from a cash register. He then asked to be taken to the store safe. A store manager led him to the safe in a back office as Brown followed with the gun. He fled shortly after emptying the safe, collecting a total of $3,680. Members of the Goldsboro Police Department responded and obtained surveillance from HI-5 and neighboring stores. They issued a press release with the suspect’s photo and soon received tips identifying BROWN as the robber.
BROWN was arrested in a separate incident on February 21, 2019, the day after the HI-5 robbery. Law enforcement were conducting surveillance in an unmarked car at a Dollar General Store in Wilmington, North Carolina, when they spotted a red SUV enter the lot with BROWN in the passenger seat. After the car parked, officers saw BROWN hold up a bag containing white powder and then appear to ingest cocaine. The officers made contact with BROWN and spotted in plain sight a small amount of cocaine. They searched BROWN and found a loaded .25 caliber handgun in his right front pocket. BROWN admitted to possessing the gun, despite having a 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 on a sustained basis in those communities to reduce the violent crime rate, drug trafficking, and crimes against law enforcement.
The investigation of this case was conducted by the Goldsboro Police Department, the Wilmington Police Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Assistant United States Attorneys Jake D. Pugh represented the government.