North Carolina man sentenced to six years in prison for firearm charge

Published 10:58 am Monday, October 17, 2022

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A Wilmington man was sentenced Wednesday, October 12, 2022 to 72 months in prison for illegal firearm possession, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice, Eastern District of North Carolina. Quemar Deshawn Wooten, 35, pleaded guilty to felon in possession of a firearm on June 24, 2022.

According to court documents and other information presented in court, in February 2021, members of the Wilmington Police Department received several complaints regarding narcotics sales and people with firearms on the porch of a residence on Meares Street.

“Officers conducted surveillance on the residence over several days and it was apparent that drug transactions were being conducted,” stated the release. “On February 27, 2021, officers approached the residence and made contact with Michael Hines, Quemar Wooten, and another individual on the front porch. During their investigation, officers located a stolen firearm in Wooten’s waistband and another firearm underneath a sweatshirt belonging to Hines.”

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Hines pleaded guilty to firearms charges on August 12, 2022 and is awaiting sentencing.

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Louise W. Flanagan. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Wilmington Police Department’s Gun Crime Task Force, the Wilmington Police Department and the New Hanover Sheriff’s Department investigated the case and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney William Van Trigt prosecuted. Van Trigt is a prosecutor with the New Hanover County District Attorney’s Office assigned to the U.S. Attorney’s Office to prosecute federal violent crimes and other criminal matters, which is funded by a New Hanover County grant.

“This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts,” stated the release. “PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.”