RALEIGH, N.C. – U.S. Attorney Michael Easley announced preliminary results from the Rocky Mount Violent Crime Action Plan (VCAP), implemented last month, in collaboration with the Rocky Mount Police Department, the Nash County Sheriff’s Office, the Edgecombe County Sheriff’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), and the Department of Homeland Security – Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Prosecutors from the Eighth Judicial District Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office are also engaged in the effort

“We made a commitment to get illegal guns off the streets in Rocky Mount to stop the wave of gun violence terrorizing the community,” said Easley. “In just a few short weeks, we have identified and arrested four individuals with illegal guns in the Rocky Mount area, and our work will continue.  I am proud of the collaborative work of our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, in conjunction with the community to investigate and bring those perpetrating violence to swift justice.”

To date, federal charges have been brought against four individuals.  If convicted, defendants each face up to ten years in federal prison.

According to court documents, the following individuals were arrested on federal charges for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon:

  • Jaquan Raqueze Harris, 27
  • Donnell Hikeen Ricks, 31
  • Montriel Lee Wilder, 37
  • Jaumarous Eugene Moore, 34

VCAP is a three-pronged approach drawing on close partnerships among federal, state, and local law enforcement, as well as the community, to combat violence. 

  • Focused and strategic enforcement brings state and federal prosecutors together to prioritize the review of gun crime cases and identify and prosecute the most significantly violent repeat offenders and criminal organizations as well as identify and stop the sources of guns.
  • Inter-Agency coordination and intelligence-led policing to analyze crime data to deploy resources where they are most needed and leveraging federal Task Force officers to bring federal technology to address local gun violence.
  • Community engagement includes youth education, offender re-entry programs, and sustained dialogue with the communities most affected by the violence.

“The Rocky Mount Police Department will continue our efforts to strategically target and arrest individuals committing violent crimes in our city. We value the relationship with our Federal, State, and Local partners as we place more resources on strengthening criminal investigations and prosecutions,” stated Chief Robert Hassell. 

“The threat of illegal guns on our streets is serious and real,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Bennie Mims. “But the commitment from our local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to hold those responsible for the violent crime in the community is strong and our efforts are seeing results. ATF is proud to be a part of this multi-faceted strategy to protect public safety.”

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement.  The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and the Rocky Mount Police Department is investigating the cases and Assistant U.S. Attorney Aakash Singh is prosecuting the cases.

A copy of this press release is located on our website