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Press Release

Wilmington Man Receives 70 Month Sentence for Possessing “Ghost Gun” and Other Firearms with High-Capacity Magazines

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

WILMINGTON, N.C. – A Wilmington man was sentenced today to 70 months in federal prison for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. On March 21, 2023, Shyheim Zyaan Waters-Davis, age 20, pled guilty to the charge.

According to court documents and other information presented in court, beginning in October of 2022, members of the Wilmington Police Department received information from multiple sources that Waters-Davis was selling crack cocaine in the Wilmington area and was known to carry a firearm. Thereafter, law enforcement conducted several controlled purchases of crack cocaine from Waters-Davis and, on November, 17, 2022, members of the Wilmington Police Department and members of the FBI Safe Streets Task Force executed a search warrant at the home of Waters-Davis. The search revealed approximately 123 grams of marijuana, drug paraphernalia, a privately manufactured firearm (aka “ghost gun”) with a 24-round extended magazine, a stolen 9mm firearm with a 50 round drum magazine, and cash. At the time of this offense, Mr. Waters-Davis was on state probation for felony breaking or entering a motor vehicle.

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after sentencing by Chief U.S. District Judge Richard E. Myers II.  The Wilmington Police Department Vice and Narcotics Unit, the FBI’s Coastal Carolina Safe Street’s Gang Task Force, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation  investigated the case and Special Assistant United States Attorney William Van Trigt prosecuted the case.  Mr. Van Trigt is a prosecutor with the New Hanover County District Attorney’s Office assigned to the United States Attorney’s Office to prosecute federal violent crimes and other criminal matters.  This has been made possible by a grant funded by New Hanover County.

The conviction is a result of the ongoing Violent Crime Action Plan (VCAP) initiative which is collaborative effort with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, working with the community, to identify and address the most significant drivers of violent crime. VCAP involves focused and strategic enforcement, and interagency coordination and intelligence-led policing.

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. 7:23-cr-00008M-001.

Updated June 21, 2023

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