ROCKINGHAM — A man was booked into the Richmond County Jail earlier this month on a federal hold after being indicted by a grand jury nearly 15 months ago.
Federal court documents allege that on Dec. 28, 2018, Raekwon Markee Armstrong, now 24, unlawfully possessed with the intent to distribute an unspecified quantity of marijuana and a Hi-Point 9mm handgun “in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime” while “having been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, with knowledge of that conviction.”
The indictment is dated July 29, 2019 and was filed the following day.
Jail records show Armstrong was processed on Oct. 5 and released into the custody of federal officials Oct. 13.
Online court records show Armstrong was charged by the Rockingham Police Department in 2018 with possession with intent to sell or distribute marijuana, possession of marijuana paraphernalia and carrying a concealed gun; and in 2019 with possession of a firearm by a felon.
(Note: The RO could not find records of Armstrong’s prior convictions with the N.C. Department of Public Safety Division of Adult Correction nor with several bordering counties in South Carolina.)
Armstrong also has pending traffic charges in Union County.
On the same day Armstrong was picked up by federal officials, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it charged more than 14,000 individuals with firearms-related crimes in the past fiscal year.
“Our office prosecuted 258 firearm cases in the last 12 months,” Matthew Martin, U.S. attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina, said in a press release. “These cases involve ‘impact’ defendants, many of whom have a history of violent crime or affiliation with a violent group. Our violent crime partnership with local law enforcement through Project Safe Neighborhoods and Project Guardian is strong. The message is simple: break federal gun laws in this district, and you will get federal time.”
All defendants facing criminal charges are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.