The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Robert J. Higdon, Jr., announced that today, MAURICE MONTRAE PARKS, a Wilson, NC resident, was convicted in a three-day jury trial before Senior United States District Judge W. Earl Britt. The jury found PARKS guilty of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.
The evidence at trial showed that shortly after midnight on September 5 2015, Parks was seen banging on the door of a residence in Wilson, NC while holding a firearm. After a neighbor called 911, Officers of Wilson PD arrived, and Parks fled the scene in his car. During the brief chase, Parks took several turns along residential streets and cut through the lawn of a vacant home that sat at the corner of an intersection. A pursuing officer observed Parks’ vehicle stop briefly beside that vacant home. Parks drove back to the street where he had been seen with the gun and jumped and ran from his car. Police apprehended Parks on the driveway of the house whose resident had placed the 911 call. Officers returned to the vacant home that Parks had driven around and found a Ruger Mini 14 rifle lying in the grass. The firearm was near fresh tire marks in the yard and in the area where Parks had momentarily stopped his car.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made turning the tide of rising violent crime in America a top priority. In October 2017, as part of a series of actions to address this crime trend, Attorney General Sessions announced the reinvigoration of PSN and directed all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to develop a district crime reduction strategy that incorporates the lessons learned since PSN launched in 2001.
The investigation of this case was conducted by the Wilson Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF). Assistant United States Attorneys Jake D. Pugh and John Stuart Bruce represented the government in this case.