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Press Release

Unrepentant Gang Member Who Led Police on High-Speed Chase Receives 10 Years in Federal Prison for Drug Trafficking and Firearm Charges

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

NEW BERN, N.C. – Veshon Lendell Shaw, aka “Play Maker”, 29, of Wilmington, was sentenced to 120 months in prison for possession of a firearm by a felon and possession with intent to distribute MDMA (Ecstasy) and marijuana. He pled guilty to the charges on February 13, 2022.

“This defendant led law enforcement on a high-speed chase and crashed into a police vehicle,” said U.S. Attorney Easley. “When apprehended, he bragged that he wasn’t afraid to spend time in prison. Today’s sentence makes the Wilmington community safer by putting him behind bars for the next 10 years.”

“Violent criminals have no place on our streets. We will continue to do everything we can to ensure that those who are responsible for criminal activity are held accountable for their actions. We appreciate the partnerships we have with various agencies who helped us bring this case to a close. I am also grateful to the women and men of the Wilmington Police Department for their continued pursuit of justice to ensure a safe community for all,” said Chief Donny Williams. 

According to court documents and other information presented in court, on July 29, 2021, a Wilmington Police Officer attempted to stop a car driven by Shaw for a revoked license and a traffic violation.  Shaw pulled into a parking lot in the Creekwood area of Wilmington then sped off at a high rate of speed onto North 30th street.  Shaw’s car struck a law enforcement van on Market Street, and law enforcement was then able to box in Shaw’s car following this collision.  Shaw exited the car and fled on foot but was ultimately apprehended. At the time of his arrest, Shaw was in possession of an ounce of MDMA and $1,200 cash.  Law enforcement found a stolen 9mm handgun and marijuana in the car.

Following Shaw’s arrest, he told officers that he was not afraid to “sit down.”  Law enforcement knew this to mean that Shaw was claiming that he was not afraid to serve a prison sentence.  Shaw said that it would give him a chance to meet a new “plug” (a source of supply for drugs).  According to law enforcement, Shaw was a member of the 720 Folk Nation Gang.  Shaw has prior convictions for Selling a Controlled Substance (2012), Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon (2013), Common Law Robbery (2015), and Selling Heroin (2015).

This is part of operation “Golfer” which is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launders, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Louise W. Flanagan. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the New Hanover and Brunswick County Sheriffs’ Offices and the Wilmington Police Department investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Severo and Gabe Diaz prosecuted the case.

Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 7:21-cr-00103-FL-1.

Updated May 22, 2023

Drug Trafficking