RALEIGH – Cedrick Tyler Armstrong, 36, of Zebulon, NC was convicted in federal court Thursday of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon following a two-day jury trial.
On October 12, 2018, an investigator with the Wendell Police Department conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle with two occupants, and Armstrong was the front seat passenger. After a baggie from the glove box field-tested positive for cocaine, police tried to remove the driver and Armstrong from the vehicle.
A struggle ensued and the Investigator was able to secure one handcuff to the driver’s left arm before the vehicle fled the stop, dragging the Investigator approximately 25 feet. The Investigator sustained injuries but was able to pursue the vehicle along with other Wendell Police Officers.
The vehicle led law enforcement on a high-speed chase through multiple counties reaching speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour. Several minutes into the chase, approximately nine shots were fired from the passenger side of the vehicle at the lead pursuit officer, and the chase was terminated shortly thereafter for public and officer safety. A search of the area where the shots were fired located a spent 9mm shell casing.
Armstrong and the driver avoided law enforcement for several hours but were located later that night at a residence on Beauty Avenue in Raleigh where they were arrested. A subsequent search of the residence found a 9mm handgun with an extended magazine in the reservoir of the toilet. Forensic examination of the gun and a shell casing recovered from the area where the shots were fired confirmed that the gun found at the residence on Beauty Avenue fired that casing. The handcuffs, a handcuff key, drugs, and the vehicle keys were also recovered from the residence on Beauty Avenue where the driver and Armstrong were apprehended.
Additionally, Investigators executed a search warrant on the vehicle after it was recovered and found another 9mm round matching the same make and caliber of the ammunition found with the gun at Beauty Avenue and the shell casing recovered from the scene of the shooting. A review of Armstrong’s phone also recovered text messages in which he admitted to shooting at law enforcement. Armstrong faces a sentence of up to ten years in prison. The driver is facing state charges.
Wendell Police Department investigated the case with the assistance of the Wake County Sheriff’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (“ATF”), the Raleigh Police Department, the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office, and the Zebulon Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Dave Fitzgerald and Bryan Stephany prosecuted the case.