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Press Release

Warren County Man Sentenced as Armed Career Criminal

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 KIMJUAN DWANE ELLIS, JR., 25, of Warrenton to 235 months imprisonment, followed by 5 years of supervised release.  He was found to be an Armed Career Criminal thereby subjecting him to a minimum term of imprisonment of 15 years. 

ELLIS was named in an Indictment filed on January 9, 2019, charging him with being a felon in possession of ammunition.  On August 20, 2019, ELLIS pled guilty to that charge. 

According to the investigation, on October 19, 2018, officers with the Norlina Police Department responded to a shooting in the parking lot of the Blue Waves convenience store in Norlina, North Carolina.  The store’s surveillance camera captured ELLIS shooting another man in the chest after an apparent argument.  ELLIS fled the scene after the shooting.  The victim was transported to Duke University Medical Center where he was treated for his wounds and survived.  Officers recovered a spent shell casing in the area where the video captured the shooting.  The gun used by ELLIS was never recovered.  ELLIS was later arrested in a vehicle with two other occupants, along with additional firearms and ammunition, one of which had been stolen.  None of those firearms, however, was used in the shooting. 

This case is part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities.

For more information about Project Guardian, please see:

This case is also 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.  The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina implements the PSN Program through its Take Back North Carolina Initiative.  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 Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, and the Norlina Police Department conducted the investigation of this matter jointly.  Assistant United States Attorney Robert J. Dodson prosecuted the case for the government.

Updated January 9, 2020

Firearms Offenses
Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods