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Fayetteville Man Sentenced on Drug and Gun Charges

RALEIGH – The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Robert J. Higdon, Jr., announced that in federal court today, United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan sentenced Christopher Parrish, 33, of Fayetteville, to 74 months imprisonment followed by 3 years of supervised release. At the time of the instant offense, Parrish was on federal supervised release for a previous federal conviction thus, Parrish received an additional consecutive sentence of 42 months imprisonment for violating the term of the federal supervised release. His total sentence of imprisonment is 116 months.

On April 12, 2018, Parrish pled guilty to two counts: possession with intent to distribute cocaine and marijuana and possession of a firearm by a felon.

The evidence presented in open court established that around 1:30 a.m. on April 5, 2017, law enforcement officers were canvassing the parking lot of Diamonds Strip Club in Fayetteville, North Carolina, when they spotted a handgun and marijuana in the center console of a parked car. Officers determined that the registered owner, Parrish, was a convicted felon and prohibited from possessing a firearm. When Parrish returned to his car and entered the driver’s seat, officers approached and attempted an arrest. Parrish, however, put the car in drive and fled, leading officers on a chase before skidding off the road. He continued on foot into some nearby woods. Officers set up a perimeter and were able to locate Parrish hiding under a parked car in a nearby hotel parking lot.

Officers searched Parrish’s car and in the center console found a loaded Smith & Wesson 9mm semi-automatic handgun. In a compartment under the radio, they found a plastic bag containing cocaine and a second bag containing marijuana. Officers also found a digital scale, empty plastic baggies, and four cell phones. They also found $1,733 cash in Parrish’s pants pocket when he was searched.

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.

The investigation of this case was conducted by the Fayetteville Police Department, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF). Assistant United States Attorney Jake D. Pugh represented the government in this case.

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