DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Thursday, August 9, 2018
Robert J. Higdon, Jr.
, United States Attorney
Contact: Don Connelly

Plymouth Man Sentenced to More Than 10 Years After Conviction of Robbery and Firearm Offense

RALEIGH – The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Robert J. Higdon, Jr., announced that today, WILLIAM EDWARD WHITE, 34, of Plymouth, was sentenced by Chief United States District Judge James C. Dever, III for Hobbs Act robbery and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. Judge Dever sentenced WHITE to 129 months imprisonment followed by 5 years of supervised release.

 

WHITE was charged in a two-count indictment on August 16, 2017 and pled guilty to those charges on April 19, 2018.

 

In the early morning of October 25, 2016, WHITE waited outside of Friendly Check Cashing in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. As an employee arrived and entered the rear door, WHITE pushed his way through the door behind the employee, pointing a handgun at her. He forced the employee into the main room where the safe was kept and threatened to shoot her if she did not open the safe quickly. While the employee was attempting to open the safe, WHITE struck the employee on the back of the head with the firearm. Once the employee had opened the safe, WHITE removed $45,500 in U.S. Currency. Before he left, WHITE bound the employee using duct tape, tearing the tape from the roll with his teeth. Detectives later identified WHITE as a suspect based on a match between his DNA and DNA isolated from the torn duct tape. When later questioned by authorities, WHITE admitted his involvement.

 

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.

 

The investigation of this case was conducted by the Elizabeth City Police Department 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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Field Division: Charlotte Field Division