North Carolina man sentenced to more than four years in prison for firearm charge
Published 7:03 am Wednesday, November 2, 2022
Rufus Lamar Bowser, 30, of Wilmington, was sentenced Friday, October 28, 2022 to 54 months in prison for felon in possession of a firearm, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice, Eastern District of North Carolina. Bowser pleaded guilty to the charges on July 7, 2022.
According to court documents and other information presented in court, on January 19, 2022, officers with the Wilmington Police Department conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle in which the defendant was a passenger. “Based on the defendant’s actions and the detection of the odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle, officers asked the occupants to step out of the vehicle,” stated the release. “When officers attempted to frisk the defendant for weapons, he tried to run from officers and a brief struggle ensued. During the struggle, a loaded pistol fell from the defendant’s pocket.”
According to the release, at the time of the offense, the defendant was on post-release supervision for 2008 convictions for second-degree murder and robbery with a dangerous weapon, as well as outstanding warrants for his arrest for absconding from supervision and attempted first degree burglary.
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 Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Wilmington Police Department’s Gun Crime Task Force and the Mobile Field Force Unit investigated the case and Special Assistant United States 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, made possible by a grant funded by New Hanover County.
“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.”