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Oxford felon known as ‘Gator’ gets 5 years

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RALEIGH — A 38-year-old Oxford man who goes by “Gator” will spend five years in federal prison for carrying a gun.

Maurice Shawayne Harris is a convicted felon who is barred from having guns. The Oxford Police Department, while responding to a shots fired call in January 2018, found a gun and ammunition in Harris’ possession, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

When asked this week about the 2018 incident, Oxford Chief of Police Alvin L. Coley referred to the release from the Department of Justice. He did not immediately answer questions regarding when or where the incident took place, or why Harris was a suspect in the shots fired report.

The release said that police stopped Harris’ vehicle to investigate the shots fired report. Harris then jumped from the vehicle and fled.

Officers found a box of .38-caliber ammunition in the vehicle and after chasing Harris, found a .38-caliber revolver. Harris was arrested by police, according to the release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

Harris pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon on Jan. 2, the release said.

Chief U.S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle sentenced Harris to 60 months imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert J. Dodson.

According to the N.C. Department of Public Safety online offender database, Harris has a criminal history dating back to 2000. His past felony convictions include possession with intent to sell a controlled substance, possession of stolen goods, possession of a Schedule II controlled substance, breaking and entering, assault inflicting serious injury, and selling a Schedule I controlled substance.