DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of North Carolina

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Jill Westmoreland Rose
, United States Attorney
Contact: Lia Bantavani

Felon in Possession of a Firearm Sentenced in Federal Court

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – U.S. District Judge Martin Reidinger sentenced today a Transylvania Co. man to 41 months in prison for a federal firearms violation, announced Jill Westmoreland Rose, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Bobie James Gibbens, 27, of Penrose, N.C. was also ordered to serve three years under supervised release upon completion of his prison term.

U.S. Attorney Rose is joined in making today’s announcement by C.J. Hyman, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Charlotte Field Division, Sheriff David A. Mahoney of the Transylvania County Sheriff’s Office and Chief John Phillip Harris, Jr. of the Brevard Police Department.

"Gibbens is a convicted felon who illegally possessed a loaded sawed-off shotgun and ammunition in a house occupied by young children. Unlawful gun possession is a serious offense and my office is committed to working closely with our law enforcement partners to identify and prosecute those who violate federal firearms laws," said U.S. Attorney Rose.

"This investigation is another example of ATF working with our law enforcement partners to enforce the federal firearms laws and to keep our communities safe," said ATF Special Agent in Charge Hyman.

According to filed court documents and statements made in court, on January 14, 2016, officers from the Transylvania County Narcotics Task Force executed a state search warrant at Gibbens’ residence. Court records show that while executing the search warrant, law enforcement recovered from the residence a Harrington & Richardson Topper Junior model 88 .410 gauge shotgun which had a sawed-off barrel and various caliber ammunitions, as well as narcotics and other drug paraphernalia. Court records show that Gibbens has multiple prior state offenses, including felony possession of stolen goods, breaking and entering, and sale/delivery of a controlled substance, and he is prohibited from possessing a firearm. Gibbens pleaded guilty in May 2016 to one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Gibbens is currently in federal custody and he will be transferred to the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility. All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.

The investigation was handled by ATF, the Transylvania County Sheriff’s Office and the Brevard Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Don Gast of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Asheville prosecuted the case.


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Charlotte Field Division