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Press Release

Wilmington Man Sentenced to 14 Years for Possession of Narcotics and Firearms

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

RALEIGH, N.C. – A Wilmington man was sentenced today to 168 months in prison for possession with intent to deliver crack cocaine and possession of a firearm by a felon.  On January 13, 2021, Rodney Tyrone Tyson pled guilty to the charges.

According to court documents and other information presented in court, law enforcement in Wilmington received information that Tyson had robbed an individual of a large amount of crack cocaine.  Tyson was spotted by law enforcement in a housing community in Wilmington.  As an officer approached Tyson to speak with him, Tyson turned and walked in the opposite direction.  Upon seeing another officer, Tyson turned and walked in a different direction to avoid law enforcement.  When one of the officers neared Tyson, he could smell a strong odor of PCP.  The officer made contact with Tyson and patted him down.  The officer found a .38 caliber firearm in Tyson’s front pocket.  Tyson was arrested and officers began to transport him to the Wilmington Police Department.

During the transport, Tyson became combative and attempted to kick out the back window of the patrol car.  Officers removed Tyson from the vehicle and put hobble straps on his legs to prevent Tyson from damaging the vehicle.  During the struggle, Tyson’s shoe came off and officers located a vial of PCP, 9.85 grams of cocaine base (crack) and 2.11 grams of marijuana.  While officers were trying to get Tyson back into the car, he kicked one officer and bit another.  Tyson continued to try to damage the police car during transport.

Tyson was sentenced as a career offender, having multiple prior convictions for violent felonies and drug distribution felonies. 

G. Norman Acker, III, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after the sentencing by U.S. District Judge James C. Dever, III. The Wilmington Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Charity Wilson  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. 7:19-CR-87.

Updated June 10, 2021

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