North Carolina man sentenced to seven years in prison for ammunition charge

Published 8:45 am Monday, February 19, 2024

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A Wilmington man was sentenced to 84 months in federal prison for possession of ammunition by a convicted felon, according to a January 22, 2024 news release from the U.S. Department of Justice, Eastern District of North Carolina. Trevon Keoni Di’Jae Brown, 24, pleaded guilty to the charge on September 6, 2023.

According to court documents and other information presented in court, on November 18, 2022, the Wilmington Police Department attempted to initiate a traffic stop on a vehicle operated by Brown. “Brown attempted to evade the police by dangerously weaving through traffic, but eventually hit a parked car. The defendant then fled on foot but was quickly apprehended,” stated the release. “Officers retraced the defendant’s path of escape and located a loaded 9mm privately made firearm (‘ghost gun’) with a large capacity magazine with 25 rounds in it in the backyard of a residence.”

Ballistic testing revealed that the firearm found was used in a shooting in Wilmington on June 12, 2022.

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“This sentence is yet another example of how dangerous felons increasingly turn to untraceable ghost guns for their crimes,” said U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina Michael Easley. “These weapons in the wrong hands pose a significant threat to our communities and we will continue to fully enforce the law against those who break it.”

Privately made firearms or “ghost guns” are firearms that are made by a person other than a licensed manufacturer and do not have a serial number placed on the firearm by a license manufacturer at the time the firearm was produced.

“Brown has multiple prior criminal convictions including, but not limited to, carrying a concealed weapon, resisting a public officer, carrying a concealed gun, and possession with intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver cocaine,” the release continued. “Brown was also validated as a member of the United Blood Nation by the North Carolina Department of Adult Correction and by the Wilmington Police Department.”

Easley made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, the Wilmington Police Department’s Gun Crime Task Force, and the Wilmington Police Department 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 United States Attorney’s Office to prosecute federal violent crimes and other criminal matters.  This has been made possible by a grant funded by New Hanover County.

“The conviction is a result of the ongoing Violent Crime Action Plan (VCAP) initiative which is a collaborative effort with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, working with the community, to identify and address the most significant drivers of violent crime,” stated the release. “VCAP involves focused and strategic enforcement, and interagency coordination and intelligence-led policing.”