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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of North Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 11, 2020

High Point Man Sentenced to 11.5 Years in Federal Prison for Firearm Offenses and Heroin Trafficking

GREENSBORO, NC - On Monday, May 11, 2020, a judge in federal district court sentenced a High Point resident, JABRELL CRAIG SMITH, to a 138-month prison term, announced United States Attorney Matthew G.T. Martin of the Middle District of North Carolina.

Following a three day trial in Greensboro in January 2020, the jury found SMITH, age 27, guilty on all four charges in the Indictment, including possession with intent to distribute heroin, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, knowingly possessing a firearm after previously being convicted of a felony offense, and knowingly possessing a unregistered firearm.

Evidence presented at trial showed that on May 29, 2017, at approximately 2:00 a.m., officers from the Greensboro Police Department’s Street Crimes Unit followed and approached a black Chevrolet Malibu in the parking lot of a gas station located at 3302 South Holden Road in Greensboro. Police found an Intratec Tec-9 9mm Luger firearm sticking out from under the front passenger seat where SMITH had been seated. When officers recovered the weapon, they noticed that a red dot sighting system situated on top of the weapon was turned on and that a round of live ammunition had been chambered, making the Tec-9 ready to fire. The magazine contained twenty-six additional rounds of live ammunition. In the door pocket of the front passenger seat, officers recovered a plastic baggie containing 3.32 grams of heroin. At trial, the government presented text messages, videos, and photographs to establish that SMITH possessed the heroin for the purpose of distribution and that he was previously familiar with, and had access to, the Tec-9. The Tec-9 had a modification, a forward grip attached to the frame of the weapon, which made it subject to additional regulation and registration in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record.

At sentencing, the United States District Court imposed an aggregate 138-month prison term on all of the charges and a 4-year period of federal supervised release.

The case was investigated by the Greensboro Police Department, the High Point Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney John M. Alsup.

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Updated May 11, 2020