CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Benjamin James Hemphill, 24, of Charlotte, was sentenced today to 60 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release today for possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.
Robert J. Murphy, Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which oversees the Charlotte District Office, and Chief Johnny Jennings of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department join U.S. Attorney King in making today’s announcement.
According to information in court documents and court proceedings, on August 4, 2021, CMPD officers arrested Hemphill after the defendant fled on foot from the scene of a car accident. Court documents show that officers at the scene of the accident searched Hemphill’s vehicle and recovered two firearms, over 3,500 pressed oxycodone pills that contained fentanyl, MDMA pills, and quantities of cocaine, cocaine base, and marijuana. Hemphill was arrested shortly thereafter.
Hemphill is in federal custody and will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.
In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney King thanked the DEA and CMPD for their investigation of the case.
Special Assistant U.S. Attorney (SAUSA) William Wiseman of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte prosecuted the case. Mr. Wiseman is a state prosecutor with the office of the 26th Prosecutorial District and was assigned by District Attorney Spencer Merriweather to serve as a SAUSA with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte. Mr. Wiseman is sworn in both state and federal courts. The SAUSA position is a reflection of the partnership between the District Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
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 gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.