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Federal jury convicts North Carolina man for firearm charges, assaulting federal officers

A federal jury convicted a Robeson County man April 21 on multiple firearm charges and for assaulting two federal officers, according to a press release from the Department of Justice, Eastern District of North Carolina.

According to court records and evidence presented at trial, Gary Lynn Gatlin, 50, was charged with a three-count superseding indictment on April 15, 2020. Evidence presented at trial showed that on February 8, 2019, two Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agents were conducting surveillance on Water Tower Road in Orrum, North Carolina on suspicion of firearm trafficking. “While sitting in their vehicle, they were approached by the defendant, Gary Gatlin, who accused them of being on his property and threatened to blow their heads off. Gatlin left and returned a few minutes later carrying a pump action shotgun,” stated the release. “Gatlin fired a shot into the air and then fired two more shots at the vehicle. Both officers identified themselves as police. In response, Gatlin crouched down, reloaded his shotgun, and fired two more shots into the vehicle before the officers escaped.”

“Officers with the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office arrived on the scene to search for Gatlin and recover evidence. While searching the property, they recovered five empty 12-gauge shotgun shell cartridges. They also recovered a Mossberg Maverick Model 88 shotgun,” stated the release. “A firearm examiner determined that the Model 88 shotgun fired the shells recovered on the scene.”

Officers also executed a search warrant at a property, Gatlin’s residence, in the 800 block of Water Tower Road and recovered additional firearms, according to the release.

“A review of Gatlin’s criminal history shows that he pled guilty to common law robbery in Robeson County in 2008, which is a class G felony,” the release continued.

Gatlin faces a mandatory minimum of 120 months in prison when sentenced during the September 7, 2021 term of court.

G. Norman Acker III, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Louise W. Flanagan accepted the verdict. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Robeson County Sheriff’s Office, Harnett County Sheriff’s Office, Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office and the State Bureau of Investigation are investigating the case and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Chad E. Rhoades and Robert J. Dodson are prosecuting.

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