North Carolina man sentenced to more than seven years in prison for firearm charge

Published 1:12 pm Wednesday, August 17, 2022

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A Tarboro man was sentenced Friday, August 12, 2022 to 90 months in prison for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of North Carolina. Marquavis Keyon Jones pleaded guilty to the charge on April 21, 2022.

According to court documents, on October 22, 2020, officers with the Rocky Mount Police Department encountered Jones at his residence while investigating a robbery. “Jones appeared at the door with a firearm loaded with a high-capacity magazine around his neck. Upon entering, officers directed Jones to show his hands and set down the firearm,” stated the release. “Jones eventually placed it against a door frame and while investigators were securing the weapon and speaking with other occupants, Jones fled on foot.”

Warrants were obtained and served on December 5, 2020 following a high-speed chase when Jones fled from a routine traffic stop in Enfield, according to the release.

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In addition to the October 2020 incident, evidence presented at sentencing established that on May 21, 2021, officers again responded to Jones’ residence for a shots-fired call. “Multiple witnesses indicated that Jones retrieved an AR-style rifle from his house and fired numerous shots hitting nearby vehicles and residences,” stated the release. “Based on witness accounts and evidence recovered from the scene, investigators were able to identify Jones as the shooter, and recovered the rifle from under a nearby abandoned trailer where a vehicle associated with Jones was parked.

“A subsequent search warrant at the residence recovered another firearm, several personal effects of Jones in the residence, live rounds of ammunition, including several that matched the shell casings outside the residence and which ballistics confirmed were fired from the rifle recovered from the abandoned trailer,” the release continued.

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after sentencing by Chief U.S. District Judge Richard E. Myers II. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Rocky Mount Police Department investigated the case and former Assistant U.S. Attorney John Parris and Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan Stephany prosecuted.

“This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone,” stated the release. “On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.”