Elizabeth City man sentenced for firearm offense

Published 3:51 pm Monday, February 15, 2021

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Khyree Banks of Elizabeth City was sentenced February 9 to 40 months in prison for possessing a firearm and ammunition as a convicted felon, according to a press release from the Department of Justice, Eastern District of North Carolina. “Banks’ five prior state felony convictions and 20 prior misdemeanor convictions include multiple instances of breaking and entering, larceny, and felony possession of cocaine,” stated the release.

According to court documents and statements made in court, officers of the Elizabeth City Police Department were on patrol just before 2 p.m. on December 27, 2018 when they initiated a traffic stop on a dark 2002 Mercedes Benz for illegal window tint at the intersection of S Road St. and Shepard St.

“As the car came to a slow roll, the rear passenger, Khyree Banks, jumped out of the car with a silver pistol in his hand and turned toward the officers. Banks lost his balance after stepping out of the car but caught himself by placing his firearm hand on the ground. He then turned and ran behind a building, and both officers chased him with their firearms drawn,” stated the release.

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“Banks looped around the building to the road, where he eventually followed commands to slow down and was detained. During the foot chase, the Mercedes had driven away. In the place where Banks had stumbled out of the car, officers found a firearm magazine with 10 .22 caliber bullets,” the release continued.

“Officers asked Banks where the gun had gone, and he admitted that he had dropped it behind the building. In a grassy area by Banks’ flight path, officers found a Ruger .22 caliber semi-automatic handgun. It contained a second magazine loaded with 10 rounds,” stated the release.

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 make neighborhoods safer for everyone, stated the DOJ release: “Since 2017, the United States Department of Justice has reinvigorated the PSN program and has targeted violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.”

The effort has been implemented through the Take Back North Carolina Initiative of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina, which emphasizes the regional assignment of federal prosecutors to work with law enforcement and District Attorney’s Offices in those communities on a sustained basis to reduce the violent crime rate, drug trafficking and crimes against law enforcement.

Robert J. Higdon Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle. The Elizabeth City Police Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jake D. Pugh prosecuted the case.



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