Robert J. Higdon, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, announces that in Federal court, ROBERT LEE HOLDEN, JR., a 50-year-old resident of Wilson, was convicted following a two-day trial before United States District Chief Judge James C. Dever III. The jury found HOLDEN guilty of Possession of a Stolen Firearm and Being a Convicted Felon in Possession of a Firearm. Sentencing is scheduled for October 22, 2018. HOLDEN faces up to life imprisonment.
The evidence at trial showed that on July 5, 2016, Officers of the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office responded to a shots fired call. Officers responded to the scene and discovered HOLDEN on the the front porch of his residence. After inviting the officers to search his home for firearms, the officers discovered a .357-caliber revolver on a leather ottoman, only a few feet from where HOLDEN was standing. The revolver had one spent shell casing inside its cylander. Addtionally, officers determined that the firearm was a stolen firearm taken from the home of HOLDEN’S uncle who lived nearby.
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 case was investigated by the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF). James J. Kurosad prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.