32-year-old Anthony J. Lee of Kinston was sentenced last week to 57 months in prison and three years of supervised release for two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon. On March 25, 2021, Lee pled guilty to the charge.
According to court documents and statements made during hearings, on July 11, 2019, a Goldsboro Police Department patrol officer spotted a white Cadillac tailgating another car on the Highway 70 service road in Goldsboro. As the Cadillac turned into a Days Inn parking lot, the officer saw that its brake lights were not functioning. He initiated a traffic stop and could smell marijuana as he approached. The driver was identified as defendant Anthony Lee.
Lee was questioned about the marijuana and admitted to having smoked in the car earlier in the day. The officers then searched the car and found a Taurus 9mm handgun in a small compartment near the rear central armrest, along with a bag that contained marijuana. Lee was prohibited from possessing the handgun due to felony state convictions in 2013 and 2014 for carrying concealed firearms.
Later in 2019, Lee became the subject of a drug investigation in Kinston. On November 21, 2019, a confidential informant fitted with a video recording device conducted a controlled purchase of marijuana and ecstasy from Lee at Lee’s Kinston home. The informant reported to law enforcement that Lee had a black gun on his hip when he came to the door. A short time later, Lee left the house in his white Cadillac and was pulled over and taken into custody. Officers executed a search warrant at the residence and recovered a black Smith & Wesson .40 caliber pistol, as well as some marijuana and ecstasy.
G. Norman Acker, III, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made this announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle. The Kinston Police Department, Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office, Goldsboro Police Department, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jake D. Pugh prosecuted the case.