Saturday, October 24, 2020

Convicted Felon Who Adheres To The “Sovereign Citizen” Movement Is Sentenced To More Than 15 Years In Prison On Drug And Gun Charges

 ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Today, U.S. District Judge Martin Reidinger sentenced Jerrell Tito Bowman, 35, of Asheville, to 185 months in prison and eight years of supervised release on drug and gun charges, announced Andrew Murray, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. 

Robert J. Murphy, Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which oversees the Asheville Resident Office, Vincent C. Pallozzi, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Charlotte Field Division, Chief David Zack of the Asheville Police Department, and Sheriff Quentin Miller of the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office join U.S. Attorney Murray in making today’s announcement.

According to plea documents and statements made in court, in March 2018, officers with Buncombe County’s Anti-Crime Task Force (BCAT) became aware that Bowman was trafficking narcotics in the Asheville area. On March 21, 2018, while executing a search warrant, law enforcement recovered narcotics from Bowman’s apartment and vehicle, including Fentanyl, cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and other drug paraphernalia, approximately $15,000 in cash, and a loaded firearm. Bowman was previously convicted of state drug and gun offenses, including Assault with a Deadly Weapon Inflicting Serious Injury, and he is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition.

Bowman has been in federal custody since September 2019.  While in federal custody, Bowman, through an individual acting as his representative, has filed numerous court documents demonstrating that he adheres to the sovereign citizen movement whose followers believe that they are only answerable to their interpretation of common law and not subject to government statutes or proceedings.

On June 29, 2020, Bowman pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, Fentanyl, and marijuana, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and possession of a firearm by a felon.

In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney Murray commended the Asheville Police Department, the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office, the DEA, and the ATF in Asheville for their investigation of this case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Kent of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Asheville prosecuted the case.

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