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Press Release

Crime Reduction Initiative To Focus On The City Of Statesville

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of North Carolina
U.S. Attorney: The Revitalization of Project Safe Neighborhoods in Statesville Is a Major Component of Our Crime Reduction Strategy in that Community


CHARLOTTE, N.C. – U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray announced today that the U.S. Attorney’s Office is partnering with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) and the Statesville Police Department to implement a crime reduction strategy in the City of Statesville, that focuses enforcement efforts on the area’s most violent offenders.  In addition to increased federal prosecutions, the strategy calls for partnering with local prevention and reentry programs to increase community safety.

“Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is the centerpiece of the Justice Department’s strategy to reduce violent crime,” said U.S. Attorney Murray. “PSN’s multi-faceted approach enables us to work with ATF and the Statesville Police Department to assess the needs of the community and implement a crime reduction strategy that is truly impactful.  PSN calls for identifying and removing repeat and violent criminals off the streets through federal prosecution to bring immediate relief to the community.  Going beyond that, we will work with Statesville PD and community stakeholders to collaborate on a holistic approach to reduce violent crime.”

 “ATF appreciates the great working relationship with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Statesville Police Department.  We are committed to removing repeat and violent offenders from the streets of Statesville to keep the community safe. This collaborative effort displays what the law enforcement community can accomplish when we work together.  It also displays ATF’s firm commitment to the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative,” said Ben Gibbons, ATF’s Acting Special Agent in Charge. 

“The Statesville Police Department is committed to increasing the quality of life for all citizens in our community. In continuing with maintaining our dedication to the City of Statesville, we must address the violent criminals impacting our children and harming our residents. Our partnership is a beneficial and necessary relationship to address the crime complaints within our jurisdiction,” said Chief David W. Addison of the Statesville Police Department.

Enforcement Actions

On May 23, 2019, a federal grand jury sitting in Charlotte returned the following three federal indictments:

Matthew Charles Wesley, 32, and Melita Desiree Nesbit, 36, both of Statesville, are charged with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and aiding and abetting, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.  Wesley is also charged with one count of possession of a firearm by a felon. Both Wesley and Nesbit were arrested today.  ATF and Statesville PD investigated the case.  The prosecution is handled by Assistant United States Attorney Lambert Guinn.

Keyon Shaqual Miller, 29, of Statesville, is charged with two counts of distribution and possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine.  He is also charged with three counts of possession of a firearm by a felon, for illegally possessing one SKS rifle and three semi-automatic pistols.  Miller was arrested by law enforcement today.  The investigation was led by ATF, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, the Statesville Police Department, and the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Christopher Hess is in charge of the prosecution.

Anthony Jerod Ravenell, 27, of Statesville, is charged with three counts of possession of a firearm by a felon, for illegally possessing five firearms on three different occasions, including three revolvers and two pistols.  Ravenell is currently in state custody and will be transferred to federal custody to appear in court on the federal charges. ATF and Statesville PD investigated the case.  The prosecution is handled by Assistant United States Attorney Lambert Guinn.

The charges contained in the indictments are allegations.  The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they have been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.  

Devin Robert Lee Tate, 33, of Statesville, was sentenced today to 46 months in prison for a firearms offense.  According to today’s sentencing hearing, over the course of a traffic stop law enforcement determined that Tate possessed a loaded firearm.  Tate attempted to flee from the scene but was apprehended a short time later. Court records show that Tate has a prior conviction and is therefore prohibited from possessing firearms and/or ammunition. In addition to the prison term imposed, Tate was also ordered to serve two years under court supervision after he is released from prison.  ATF and the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case.  Assistant United States Attorney Robert Gleason handled the prosecution.

These cases were brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the U.S. Justice Department’s program to reduce violent crime. The PSN approach emphasizes coordination between state and federal prosecutors and all levels of law enforcement to address gun crime, especially felons illegally possessing firearms and ammunition and violent and drug crimes that involve the use of firearms.

For more information about PSN, please visit:

Updated May 30, 2019

Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime