North Carolina man sentenced to more than nine years in prison for handgun possession charge

Published 8:02 am Monday, February 21, 2022

A Tarboro man was sentenced Thursday, February 17, 2022 to 114 months in prison for possessing a handgun as a convicted felon, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of North Carolina. Bernard Eugene Phillips, 43, pleaded guilty to the charges September 22, 2021.

According to court documents and other information presented in court, Phillips pulled a loaded handgun during an argument at Brown’s Grocery Store located in Tarboro, North Carolina.

“When Tarboro police officers responded and attempted to arrest Phillips, Phillips fought with the officers and spit on them,” stated the release. “Even after he was in handcuffs, Phillips continued to physically resist the officers. After they were able to secure Phillips, the officers recovered the handgun which was found in Phillips’s waistband. The handgun was determined to be stolen after officers secured it from Phillips.”

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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 Tarboro Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney John Parris prosecuted.