06/19/2019
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RALEIGH – The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Robert J. Higdon, Jr., announced that today, United States District Judge James C. Dever, III sentenced Darrick Lamorris McKenzie, 39, of Lumberton, to 379 months imprisonment followed by 5 years of supervised release and ordered to pay $9,500.00 in restitution.

McKenzie was named in an eight-count Indictment filed on March 28, 2018. On November 19, 2018, McKenzie pled guilty to two-counts of Carjacking and two counts of Brandishing a Firearm in Furtherance of a Crime of Violence.

On March 14, 2017, McKenzie robbed MSI (Packer Sanitation) located at 1312-B East 5th Street in Lumberton. Specifically, McKenzie entered MSI and approached the victim employee, who was seated at her desk. McKenzie pulled out a gun and pointed it at her stating, “Give me all you got.” The victim employee told him she did not have any money, but she gave him her debit card and car keys. McKenzie then stole two laptop computers and two televisions from the business, and ordered the victim employee to lay down on the floor in front of the window with her hands behind her head, stating that he can see her if she moves. The victim employee stated McKenzie then went outside and placed the stolen items in her vehicle. McKenzie then returned to the business, locked the door behind him, and brutally raped her, while putting her into a choke hold. Further investigation revealed that McKenzie used the victim’s debit card by withdrawing $300 from her bank account shortly after fleeing from MSI.

On March 16, 2017, another victim, who transports individual to and from work, was inside his vehicle located at 2702 Martin Luther King Drive in Lumberton. The victim stated he was taking a brief nap inside the vehicle, when he was awakened by McKenzie knocking on his driver’s side window. The victim stated that when he lowered the window McKenzie pointed a firearm at him stating, “Give me everything you got, and I mean every damn thing you got.” McKenzie also threatened to kill the victim numerous times. The victim stated McKenzie then reached inside the vehicle and pulled him out and stole his wallet. As McKenzie was getting into the stolen vehicle, the victim’s friend saw McKenzie and yelled at him. The victim stated McKenzie was trying to drive away but the tires were spinning. McKenzie then fired the gun from inside the vehicle hitting the windshield behind the rearview mirror.

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. Since 2017 the United States Department of Justice has reinvigorated the PSN program and has targeted 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.

That effort has been implemented through the Take Back North Carolina Initiative of The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina. 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 Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), Lumberton Police Department, Fayetteville Police Department, and the Raleigh Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney James Kurosad prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.

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