GREENSBORO, N.C. – On Thursday, October 8, 2020, a jury in federal court found a Durham resident guilty on three felony charges relating to a violent carjacking, announced United States Attorney Matthew G.T. Martin of the Middle District of North Carolina.
Following a three day trial in Greensboro, the jury found KENNETH JEROME WILEY, age 37, guilty of carjacking, brandishing a firearm during the carjacking, and felon in possession of a firearm.
“We are committed to pursuing violent gun criminals in Durham. This case is yet another example. The lesson is simple: breaking federal gun laws does not end well,” said United States Attorney Martin. “I thank the Durham County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI for their excellent investigation of this case.”
Evidence presented at trial showed that on February 5, 2020, at around 10:45 p.m., WILEY and another man approached the victim at a Bank of America ATM at 2 Park Drive in Research Triangle Park. The victim was sitting in a 2005 Mercedes sedan when WILEY and the other man, both brandishing Glock semi-automatic pistols with extended magazines, threatened the man by pointing the guns at his head and forced the victim out of the Mercedes. WILEY then drove off in the Mercedes, while the other gunman and another assailant, JORDAN HART, drove off in a burgundy Kia Sorrento. On February 27, 2020, law enforcement executed a search warrant at WILEY’s residence on Troy Street in Durham. Police located WILEY in his bedroom holding a Glock model 26 9mm handgun with an extended magazine. The firearm was loaded with 33 rounds of ammunition, including one round in the chamber. WILEY later admitted to law enforcement that he possessed the firearm.
HART, age 26, also from Durham, NC, pleaded guilty to one count of carjacking on October 5, 2020.
Sentencing for both defendants is scheduled for February 8, 2021, in Greensboro before United States District Judge Catherine C. Eagles. With regard to the carjacking offense, each defendant faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, a fine of up to
$250,000, or both, and a term of not more than three years of supervised release. With regards to the brandishing a firearm offense, WILEY faces a sentence of not less than seven years in prison, consecutive to any other sentence imposed, a fine of up to $250,000, or both, and a term of up to five years of supervised release. For being a felon in possession of a firearm, WILEY faces a sentence of up to ten years, a fine of up to $250,000, or both, and up to three years of supervised release.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Durham County Sheriff’s Office. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Ashley Waid and Stephen Inman.