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Press Release

Wilmington Man Sentenced to Nine Years for Gun Offense

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

WILMINGTON, N.C. – A Wilmington man was sentenced today to 108 months in prison and three years of supervised release for being a felon in possession of a firearm.  On February 18, 2021, Harold Davon Leonard pled guilty to the charges.

According to court documents and other information presented in court, Leonard, 34, was the passenger in a vehicle that was stopped on December 25, 2019.  While a Wilmington Police Department officer was with the driver, a second officer saw Leonard jump into the driver seat and attempt to put the vehicle in gear.  When Leonard was ordered to exit the vehicle, he tried to push the officer and flee on foot.  A struggle ensued and Leonard was ultimately detained.  During the struggle, a vial containing more than 13 grams of Phencyclidine (PCP) fell from Leonard’s pocket.  Following his arrest, a loaded 9mm handgun that had previously been reported as stolen was found under the passenger seat.  At the time of the offense, Leonard had more than 20 prior criminal convictions, including 11 prior felony convictions, and was on active parole after having been released only 10 months earlier.

G. Norman Acker, III, Acting 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 office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Wilmington Police Department  investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan Stephany  prosecuted the case.

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.  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.

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. 7:20-cr-00095-M.

Updated May 21, 2021

Firearms Offenses