Man sentenced to 8 years for using stolen firearm in assault



STATESVILLE, N.C. –United States Attorney Andrew Murray announced today that Curtis Lee Rucker, Jr. 36, of Statesville, was sentenced to 96months in prison and three years of supervised release for illegally possessing a stolen firearm, with which he assaulted a female victim. U.S. District Judge Kenneth D. Bell presided over Rucker’s sentencing.

Vince Pallozzi, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Charlotte Field Division, and Chief David W. Addisonof the Statesville Police Departmentjoin U.S. Attorney Murray in making today’s announcement.

According to court records, plea documents and statements made in court, on June 30, 2018, in the early hours of the morning, the Statesville Police Department received a 9-1-1 call for a domestic disturbance at the Times Gas Station, located at 1205 E. Garner Bagnal Blvd. in Statesville. Court records show that the caller told the 9-1-1 operator that a male was assaulting a female with a firearm. Officers arrived at the scene and observed an individual, later identified as Rucker, matching the caller’s description. Officers arrested Rucker, and located nearby a firearm,loaded with two rounds of ammunition.

According to court records, officers spoke with two witnesses at the gas station who identified Rucker as the individual possessing the firearm.The witnesses stated that Ruckera ssaulted the female victim with the firearm, and that during the assault the magazine fell from the firearm. Rucker reinserted the magazine into the firearm and proceeded to chase the victim. Rucker eventually discarded the firearm where it was later located by law enforcement. Surveillance video from the gas station shows Rucker exiting a vehicle at the gas station, assaulting the victim, striking her in the head with his firearm,and causing her to fall on the ground. Once on the ground, Rucker pointed the firearm in the victim’s direction, and proceeded to kick and chase the victim around the vehicle, with the firearm pointed in her direction. Law enforcement later determined that the seized firearm was a black Ruger LCP .380 handgun, which had been reported as stolen.

In February 2019, Rucker pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a felon. Rucker, who was convicted in 2015 for felon in possession of a firearm in State court, is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition.

Rucker has been in federal custody and will be transferredto the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility. All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.

In making today’s announcement U.S. Attorney Murray thanked the ATF and the Statesville Police Department for their investigation of this case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sanjeev Bhasker, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, prosecuted the case.

This case has been brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the U.S. Justice Department’s program to reduce violent crime. The PSN approach emphasizes coordination between state and federal prosecutors and all levels of law enforcement to address gun crime, especially felons illegally possessing firearms and ammunition and violent and drug crimes that involve the use of firearms.

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Author: Niakeya James