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North Carolina man sentenced to prison, supervised release for firearm charge

Kashon Stacy Cunningham, of Clayton, was sentenced July 22 to 33 months in federal prison and three years of supervised release on a charge of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(g), according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of North Carolina.

On May 22, 2020 in Smithfield, the Smithfield Police Department and detectives with Alcohol Law Enforcement (ALE) were conducting surveillance near 825 Blunt Street, according to the release.

“Kashon Cunningham pulled into a gas station driving a vehicle with a false license plate. Detectives followed Cunningham as he drove away from the gas station and attempted to conduct a traffic stop by activating blue lights,” stated the release. “The vehicle slowed down; it did not immediately stop. After witnessing someone shuffling between the seats inside the car, Cunningham pulled over and stopped the car.

“Upon approach to the vehicle officers smelled marijuana emanating from within,” the release continued. “All occupants were removed from the vehicle and a search was conducted. At that time officers discovered a Springfield 9mm pistol loaded with 10 rounds of Hornady 9mm ammunition. One round of ammunition was loaded in the chamber.”

At the time of the stop, Cunningham was on state probation for a prior felony and was wearing an ankle monitor, according to the release, which also stated Cunningham admitted possession of the firearm.

G. Norman Acker III, acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III announced the sentence. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated the case with the assistance of the ALE and the Smithfield Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney William M. Gilmore served as the prosecutor.

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