RALEIGH, N.C. – A Trenton man was sentenced today to 48 months in prison for possessing firearms as a convicted felon.
According to court documents, Gregory Wade Howard, Jr., 34, possessed handguns on two separate occasions in October and December 2019, while he was on supervised probation. On October 17, 2019, probation officers and deputies with the Jones County Sheriff’s Office found a handgun during a search of Mr. Howard’s residence in Trenton. On December 9, 2019, medical personnel and Sheriff’s Deputies responded to Mr. Howard’s residence after an emergency call for assistance for a drug overdose. While rendering assistance to Mr. Howard the deputies found another handgun in the residence. Mr. Howard had previously been convicted of several felonies, including a previous federal conviction for possessing a firearm as a felon in the Eastern District of North Carolina.
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 make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Since 2017, the United States Department of Justice has reinvigorated the PSN program and has targeted violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.
That effort has been implemented through the Take Back North Carolina Initiative of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina. This initiative emphasizes the regional assignment of federal prosecutors to work with law enforcement and District Attorney’s Offices in those communities on a sustained basis to reduce the violent crime rate, drug trafficking, and crimes against law enforcement.
Robert J. Higdon, Jr., 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 Jones County Sheriff’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, Division of Adult Corrections and Juvenile Justice, and the District Attorney’s Office for Onslow, Duplin, Sampson and Jones Counties investigated and assisted with the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney John Parris prosecuted the case.
Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 4:20-cr-00040-D-1.