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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Western District of North Carolina

For Immediate Release

June 5, 2013

Anne M. Tompkins, United States Attorney

Contact: Lia Bantavani

Armed Career Criminal Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for Federal Firearms Violations

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A Charlotte man was sentenced in federal court on Monday, June 3, 2013, for being a felon in possession of a firearm, announced Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

Derek Lorenzo Covington, 47, of Marshville, N.C. was sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge Frank D. Whitney to 180 months in prison, followed by two years of supervised release. In June 2012, Covington pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm in violation of federal gun laws.

U.S. Attorney Tompkins is joined in making today’s announcement by Wayne L. Dixie, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Charlotte Field Division, Chief Rodney D. Monroe of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) and Sheriff James E. Clemmons, Jr. of the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.

According to the criminal indictment and statements made in court, on May 3, 2011, Covington went into a pawnshop in Charlotte and pawned a Springfield 20 gauge shot gun. Law enforcement officers obtained video footage from the pawn shop that showed Covington pawning the shotgun. Law enforcement also recovered a pawn slip for the shotgun with Covington’s name and signature. At the time of the offense, Covington was a convicted felon and was prohibited from possessing a firearm. Court records indicate that law enforcement later determined the shotgun was a stolen firearm.

Covington’s prior convictions prohibit him from carrying a weapon and he was therefore sentenced by the Court as an armed career criminal. In handing down the sentence, Judge Whitney noted that the sentence would have a general deterrent effect.

Covington has been in federal custody since December 2011. He will be transferred to the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons upon the designation of a federal facility. All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.

The investigation was handled by ATF, CMPD and the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert J. Gleason of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte.