For Immediate Release
Charlotte Man Is Sentenced to Prison for Firearms Offense
The Defendant Received an Enhanced Sentence for Assaulting a Witness to Obstruct Justice
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Acting U.S. Attorney William T. Stetzer announced that Darryl Damon Leach, 36, of Charlotte, was sentenced yesterday to 94 months in prison and three years of supervised release for a firearms offense.
Vincent C. Pallozzi, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Charlotte Field Division, and Chief Johnny Jennings of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) join Acting U.S. Attorney Stetzer in making this announcement.
According to filed documents and statements made in court, on March 5, 2020, CMPD officers responded to a service call at a Shell gas station located at 1125 Sugar Creek Road in Charlotte. The gas station clerk told officers responding to the scene that during his encounter with Leach, the defendant, who was accompanied by a female witness, produced a Hi-Point semiautomatic pistol and proceeded to punch the store clerk until the clerk fell to the ground. Leach and the female witness then fled the scene. Court records show that Leach has two prior convictions of Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon, and Second Degree Kidnapping and Burglary convictions and he is prohibited from possessing a firearm.
According to court records, Leach was arrested on March 14, 2020. When law enforcement apprehended Leach, they also recovered from his vehicle the firearm he used during the gas station incident. At the time of Leach’s arrest, the defendant was with the same female witness who was with Leach during his encounter with the gas station clerk. Leach was subsequently charged with state offenses and released on bond. While on bond, Leach and an accomplice assaulted the female witness, in an attempt to intimidate and induce her to claim that the firearm seized from Leach belonged to her. Court records show that Leach and his accomplice viciously beat, punched, and put the witness in a headlock. As a result, the witness sustained extensive injuries and required medical attention.
On December 20, 2020, Leach pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. As a result of Leach’s assault on the female witness, U.S. District Judge Robert J. Conrad Jr. enhanced Leach’s sentence for attempting to obstruct justice.
The investigation was handled by the ATF and CMPD. Assistant U.S. Attorney Taylor Stout of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte prosecuted the case.