Forsyth County Resident Charged With Federal Gun, Drug Violations Following a High Speed Chase
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Matthew G.T. Martin, United States Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina, announced today that DARTAGNAN BLAZE SURRATT, age 21, of Winston-Salem, NC, was charged with violations of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(g)(1) and 924(a)(2), felon in possession of a firearm, Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(D), possession with intent to distribute marihuana, and Title 18, United States Code, Sections 924(c)(1)(A)(i), possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
The Complaint alleges that on June 7, 2020, at approximately 2:30 a.m., a Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office deputy attempted to stop a black 2019 Buick Cascada convertible for speeding on U.S. Highway 421 southbound in Lewisville, NC. The driver failed to stop, resulting in a high speed chase that ended in a crash, when the driver of the Buick failed to effectively reduce speed while exiting the highway and collided with a raised concrete median. The driver fled from the car, was caught nearby, and was identified as SURRATT.
According to the Complaint, when officers checked on a female passenger in the vehicle, the convertible top was down and officers could see an unsealed bottle of liquor on the floorboard and smell an odor of marihuana coming from the vehicle. Inside the car, officers found several ounces of marihuana, more than $7,000 in U.S. currency, and four firearms: a Ruger, model EC9, 9mm pistol, loaded with ammunition; a Romarm/Cugir Arms Factory, model WASR 10, 7.62x39mm caliber rifle; a Volunteer Enterprises Incorporated, model Commando Mark V, .45 caliber rifle, made into a pistol by taking the stock off, with an attached 30 round stick magazine; an Anderson Manufacturing, model AM-15, 5.56mm caliber rifle loaded with ammunition; and, three additional magazines. Officers also found fireworks, a digital scale and other items of drug paraphernalia, a set of handcuffs, a handcuff key, and an apparent protest sign inside the car. The investigation also developed photographic evidence of SURRATT posing with the Anderson Arms AM-15 rifle.
The Complaint also alleges that SURRATT has previously been convicted of a felony offense, punishable by more than one year imprisonment, and therefore could not lawfully possess a firearm. He was on state supervised probation for that prior felony at the time of these alleged offenses.
A detention hearing and preliminary hearing were held on July 14, 2020, and SURRATT was ordered detained while awaiting further proceedings in the case.
If convicted under Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(g)(1) and 924(a)(2), felon in possession of a firearm, SURRATT may be sentenced to a maximum of 10 years imprisonment, a fine not to exceed $250,000.00, or both, and 3 years of supervised release. If convicted of the drug charge under Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(D), SURRATT may be sentenced to not more than 5 years imprisonment, a fine not to exceed $250,000.00, or both, and not less than 2 years of supervised release. If convicted under Title 18, United States Code, Sections 924(c)(1)(A)(i), possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, SURRATT may be sentenced to imprisonment for not less than 5 years and not more than life (to run consecutively with any other term of imprisonment), a fine not to exceed $250,000.00, or both, and not more than 5 years of supervised release.
A criminal complaint is merely an allegation, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The case has been investigated by the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).
The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.