North Carolina man sentenced to more than four years in prison for handgun, ammunition charge

Published 12:17 pm Monday, January 10, 2022

A Greenville man was sentenced January 5, 2022 to 52 months in prison for possessing a handgun and ammunition as a convicted felon, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of North Carolina.

James Layquan Smith, 27, pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm and ammunition as a felon on September 21, 2021. Smith had a previously been convicted of attempted second degree robbery in Kings County Supreme Court in New York in 2011.

According to court documents and other information presented in court, Smith, on October 21, 2019, took his girlfriend’s handgun and told her to drive him to a family member’s house, also making his girlfriend’s children ride in the car.

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“While driving, Smith threatened to shoot his girlfriend if they were pulled over by police officers,” stated the release. “The girlfriend panicked at an intersection and Smith ran from the car. Pitt County deputies responded quickly and were able to arrest Smith.”

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle. The Pitt County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney John Parris prosecuted.