DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, September 11, 2019
Robert J. Higdon, Jr.
, United States Attorney
Contact: Don Connelly

Raleigh Man Sentenced to Over 12 Years’ Imprisonment on Firearm and Drug Charges

RALEIGH — The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Robert J. Higdon, Jr., announced that today, United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan sentenced JESSE BERNALE STINES, JR., 27, of Raleigh to 151 months’ imprisonment, followed by 3 years of supervised release. On March 18, 2019, STINES pled guilty to one count each of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine.

The government’s evidence established that on August 28, 2018, a Raleigh Police Department officer was on patrol on N. King Charles Rd. in Raleigh when he saw a white BMW with what appeared to be illegal window tint and initiated a traffic stop. The driver of the BMW, identified as STINES, partially rolled down his driver’s side window, and the officer could immediately smell the strong odor of marijuana. At the same time, the officer saw a mason jar with marijuana residue in plain view in the passenger seat.

The officer informed the defendant that he would be doing a probable cause search of the car and asked the defendant if it contained anything illegal. The defendant stated that there was something in the car, then added that there was a firearm and that he was a convicted felon. Officers searched the car and found a

loaded Smith & Wesson 9mm handgun on the floorboard of the rear passenger seat. Near the gun, officers found a baggie of crack cocaine and a digital scale.

The Court at sentencing concluded that STINES qualified as a career offender based on past state convictions, meriting an enhanced sentence. STINES’ prior convictions include a 2016 conviction for possession with intent to sell cocaine, 2014 convictions for possessing a firearm as a felon and possessing with intent to sell cocaine and marijuana, and a 2011 conviction for misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon, all in Wake County District Court.

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 in those communities on a sustained basis to reduce the violent crime rate, drug trafficking, and crimes against law enforcement. For more information about this initiative click here:

The investigation of this case was conducted by the Raleigh Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). Assistant United States Attorney Jake D. Pugh represented the government.

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Charlotte Field Division