Federal officials’ successful prosecution of an Albemarle man earlier this month on firearms charges marked a success in the battle against gang violence in Stanly County, authorities said this week.
Otis Eugene Burns was sentenced Aug. 22 in federal court in Greensboro to 10 years in prison, after being convicted on a charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
He had been charged in connection with a February 2 shooting on South Bell Avenue, in which police say Burns had shot into an occupied vehicle. Albemarle police say federal prosecutors joined the case in April.
“The swiftness of justice in this case is a direct result of the Stanly-Albemarle Gang Eradication initiative,” Albemarle police Chief W.I. Halliburton said. “The police message is clear. If you commit a violent crime or a gang-involved crime in our community, you will face swift and certain justice.”
Part of the initiative, Halliburton said, are “Call-In” programs, in which alleged gang members and those accused of violent crimes are called into a meeting with police and community leaders. The next such meeting is planned for Sept. 26 at Albemarle City Hall.
Steve Lyttle: 704-358-6107 Twitter: @slyttle
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