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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – On Tuesday, February 19, 2013, U.S. District Judge Max O. Cogburn, Jr. sentenced Malcolm Springs, 22, of Charlotte, to 355 months in prison for drug trafficking and firearms offenses, announced Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Springs was also ordered to serve five years under court supervision following his prison term and to pay $21,434 as restitution.
U.S. Attorney Tompkins is joined in making today’s announcement by Roger A. Coe, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division and Chief Rodney Monroe of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD).
According to filed court documents and statements made in court, on or about March 20, 2011, Springs met an individual identified as “S.C.” in the parking lot of a gas station in Charlotte for the purpose of purchasing a distribution amount of crack cocaine. Court records reflect that Springs stole the drugs and brandished a firearm. Court records indicate that a struggle over the gun ensued and S.C. was shot in the arm and in the abdomen. Following the shooting, Springs fled the scene in his car, according to court records.
According to filed documents, CMPD officers spotted Springs’ car and attempted to make a traffic stop. Springs did not stop and led police on a short chase, and then jumped and ran from his vehicle when he drove into a dead end. According to court records, a uniformed CMPD police officer spotted Springs, who was moving between two houses. Court records indicate that while fleeing, Springs pointed and then shot his gun at the officer. After being shot, the officer returned fire and struck Springs. Springs was then apprehended by the officers, court records indicate.
At the sentencing hearing, prosecutors described the shootings committed by Springs as “reckless and wanton” acts, and noted that “Springs could have killed two people.” Prosecutors also said that Springs’ shooting of a police officer reflected “complete lack of respect for the law.”
In making today’s announcement United States Attorney Anne Tompkins stated, “The Springs case demonstrates the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s commitment to vigorously prosecuting violent criminals and to enforcing existing federal firearms laws. Let it also be known,” U.S. Attorney Tompkins added, “that we will not tolerate any acts or attempted acts of violence against police officers.”
“Malcolm Springs’ ruthless actions put many lives at risk. The FBI and our law enforcement partners stand united in our commitment to hold violent offenders accountable for their negative impact on our communities,” said Roger Coe, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Charlotte Division of the FBI.
“It is unfortunate that the incident escalated to where the suspect fired a gun and placed two lives in danger,” said Chief Rodney Monroe, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. “Oftentimes those who are intent on breaking the law and who knowingly engage in criminal activities also lack a regard for human life.”
In December 2011, Springs pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense and one count of possession of a firearm by convicted felon. Springs’ sentence was enhanced because of his four prior violent felony convictions, which make him an Armed Career Criminal under the United States Sentencing Guidelines.
Springs has been in local federal custody since June 2011. Upon designation of a federal facility, he will be transferred to the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.
The investigation was handled by the FBI and CMPD, assisted by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The prosecution was handled by Assistant United States Attorney Robert Gleason of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte.