Roanoke Rapids Man Sentenced for Felon in Possession of a Firearm and Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime

The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Robert J. Higdon, Jr., announced that today in federal court, United States District Judge Terrance W. Boyle sentenced MICHAEL RAKIM BELFIELD, 30, of Roanoke Rapids to 144 months of imprisonment followed by 5 years of supervised release.

BELFIELD was named in a three-count Indictment filed on December 13, 2016.  On May 9, 2017, BELFIELD pled guilty to one-count of Possession of a Firearm by Convicted Felon and one-count of Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug-Trafficking Crime.

The investigation began in 2015 when the Roanoke Rapids Police Department received information that BELFIELD was selling cocaine at his residence in Roanoke Rapids.  A confidential source (CS) made three controlled purchases of cocaine from BELFIELD at his residence.

On April 16, 2015, officers with the Halifax City/County Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at BELFIELD’S residence, where BELFIELD was present.  BELFIELD informed officers that a firearm was in his bedroom.  Officers subsequently located a .40 caliber handgun loaded with 13 rounds of ammunition, 38 bindles of heroin inside the ammunition box, .5 gram of crack cocaine, a digital scale with white powder residue, razor blade with white powder residue, and plastic baggies from BELFIELD’S bedroom.

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.   Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting 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.

In support of PSN, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina has implemented the Take Back North Carolina Initiative.  This initiative emphasizes the regional assignment of federal prosecutors to work with law enforcement and District Attorney’s Offices on a sustained basis in those communities to reduce the violent crime rate, drug trafficking, and crimes against law enforcement.

The Roanoke Rapids Police Department, Halifax County Sheriff’s Office, and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the North Carolina Crime Laboratory conducted the criminal investigation of this case.  Assistant United States Attorney S. Katherine Burnette handled the prosecution of this case for the government.

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