Two Statesville men receive federal prison sentences for firearm offenses

Posted at 12:18 AM on Aug 14, 2019


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U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray announced Tuesday that federal gun prosecutions stemming from the Western District’s Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative have resulted in prison terms for five repeat offenders for illegally possessing firearms or ammunition despite having prior felony convictions.

U.S. District Judge Kenneth D. Bell sentenced Wayne Lamont Johnson, 39, of Statesville to 63 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, on charges of possession of a firearm by a felon.

According to plea documents and statements made in court, on September 13, 2017, officers with the Statesville Police Department recovered a firearm from inside the vehicle Johnson was driving.

Johnson has a prior sale of cocaine felony conviction and he is prohibited from possessing a firearm.

Judge Bell also ordered Patrick Maurice Anto Curruth, 27, of Statesville to serve 50 months in prison, followed by two years of supervised release.

According to court records, on April 11, 2013, Curruth was convicted of multiple state charges, including robbery with a dangerous weapon and assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, and received a sentence of up to 84 months in prison.

On February 9, 2018, investigators with the Statesville Police Department executed a search warrant at Curruth’s residence and recovered a loaded Ruger .40-caliber semi-automatic pistol. Curruth pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a felon on January 10, 2019.

Three Charlotte residents also received sentences for similar offenses, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

U.S. Attorney Murray commended the work of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), the Statesville Police Department, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, and the State Bureau of Investigation for their continued work and coordination on PSN cases.

Project Safe Neighborhoods is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. 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.

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