North Carolina man sentenced to more than three years in prison plus supervised release for firearm charge

Published 8:35 am Monday, January 24, 2022

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A man from Knightdale was sentenced Friday, January 14, 2022 to 37 months in prison and three years of supervised release, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of North Carolina. Derek Alan Gower, 41, pleaded guilty on October 1, 2021 to one count of receiving and possessing a firearm having a barrel of less than 16 inches in length which was not registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record.

According to court documents and other information presented in court, Gower had been purchasing chemicals and other items that could potentially be used in the manufacturing of explosives. Additionally, Gower researched and purchased items to make homemade suppressors and grenades, according to the release.

“On June 24, 2021, federal agents conducted a search of Gower’s residence in Knightdale which resulted in the seizure of 11 firearms, two of which were unregistered short-barreled assault rifles, grenade and grenade launcher part kits, kits to convert various weapons to be fully automatic, and precursor materials to make explosives,” stated the release.

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Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Joint Terrorism Task Force in Raleigh, North Carolina. Assistant U.S. Attorney Gabriel J. Diaz prosecuted the case.