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Press Release

Multi-Convicted Felon Is Sentenced To Eight Years In Prison For Illegal Firearms Possession

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of North Carolina
The Defendant Used the Firearm to Shoot and Injure A Victim in Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Princess Houghton, 34, of Salisbury, N.C., was sentenced today to 96 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

Bennie Mims, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Charlotte Field Division, and Chief Johnny Jennings of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD), join U.S. Attorney King in making today’s announcement.

According to documents filed in the case and court proceedings, on August 13, 2022, at approximately 3:52 p.m., CMPD Officers were dispatched to East 4th Street and South Brevard Street in reference to a service call for shots fired in the area, which is a short distance from the Transit Center in Uptown Charlotte. While enroute, another call for service came in for the Omni Hotel at 132 East Trade Street, for a victim that had been shot and sustained a gunshot wound. The officers located the victim and began rendering medical assistance. The victim was then transported to the hospital.

According to court documents, law enforcement reviewed surveillance footage from cameras in the area and were able to identify Houghton’s vehicle as it fled the area as well as the address where the vehicle was registered. On August 23, 2022, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Houghton’s residence. Law enforcement searched a safe inside the residence, where they found Houghton’s semi-automatic pistol, loaded with 18 rounds of ammunition plus one additional round in the chamber. Law enforcement also recovered a separate extended magazine loaded with additional ammunition. Court records show that Houghton had used the illegal firearm to shoot the victim.

On October 25, 2023, Houghton pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Houghton has multiple prior convictions, to include assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, accessory after the fact – robbery with a dangerous weapon, and charges related to breaking and entering. As a result of the criminal conviction, she is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition.  

Houghton is in federal custody. She 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 ATF and CMPD for their investigation of the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Kent of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte prosecuted the case.

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.

Updated June 26, 2024

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime