GREENSBORO – A Durham man was sentenced today to 5 years in prison, after pleading guilty to firearms charges stemming from two incidents in 2022, announced United States Attorney Sandra J. Hairston.
According to court documents, JHAMAR ORATAVIO DAWSON, also known as “Smoke”, age 22, fled from a North Carolina State Highway Patrol trooper on June 21, 2022, after nearly colliding with the trooper’s car at a traffic light in Durham. As he fled, DAWSON reached a speed of 75mph in a 45mph zone and drove toward oncoming traffic. At the intersection of E. Club Blvd. and Dearborn Dr., DAWSON’s car skidded into a ditch, went airborne, and burst into flames.
DAWSON and an unidentified passenger fled on foot. The trooper pursued them and caught DAWSON. Law enforcement officers found a handgun on the driver’s seat of the car driven by DAWSON. DAWSON was arrested on state charges.
DAWSON was previously convicted of felony flee to elude arrest in a motor vehicle in December 2021 in Durham County Superior Court and was therefore prohibited from possessing a firearm.
In October 2022, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Safe Streets Task Force arrested DAWSON at an apartment in Wake County, NC for possessing a firearm in June. During DAWSON’s arrest, FBI agents discovered a stolen firearm, a large amount of cash, and small bags of suspected controlled substances.
DAWSON was charged both in the Middle District of North Carolina and the Eastern District of North Carolina with a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(g)(1), felon in possession of a firearm. DAWSON pleaded guilty to both counts in the Middle District of North Carolina on January 17, 2023.
DAWSON is facing additional charges in Wayne County, NC stemming from a July 2020 incident, including felony flee to elude arrest in a motor vehicle, possession of a stolen firearm, and assault with a deadly weapon on a government official.
DAWSON was sentenced today to a 60-month term of imprisonment by the Honorable William L. Osteen, Jr., United States District Judge in the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. In addition to prison time, DAWSON was ordered to serve a three-year term of supervised release and to pay a special assessment of $200.00.
The cases were investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Safe Streets Task Force, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, and the Durham Police Department, and are being prosecuted by Middle District of North Carolina Assistant United States Attorney Eric Iverson with assistance from the Eastern District of North Carolina.