Wilson Man Sentenced To 10 Years For Ammunition Charge Related To Shooting Of State Trooper

Suspect Still Awaiting Trial On State Charges

RALEIGH – A Wilson man was sentenced today in federal court in Raleigh to 120 months in prison for unlawfully possessing ammunition.

On January 14, 2019, State Highway Patrol Trooper Daniel Harrell conducted a traffic stop in Wilson County on a vehicle driven by John David Jones, 38, for illegally towing another vehicle. During the traffic stop, Jones fired several 9mm rounds into the windshield of Trooper Harrell’s patrol car, striking Trooper Harrell in the cheek and forehead. Jones fled the scene and Trooper Harrell pursued him until Jones made a U-Turn and rammed Trooper Harrell’s patrol vehicle head-on. At the scene of the shooting, investigators recovered multiple 9mm shell casings, and the defendant’s DNA was found on a recovered shell casing.

Robert J. Higdon, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III. “Every day law enforcement officers across the Eastern District face unknown risks as they attempt to deal with those among us who will not follow the law.  Trooper Harrell’s experience with the defendant in January of 2019 is our worst nightmare: he stops a vehicle for a relatively minor suspected violation, he finds himself fighting for his own life as he takes gunfire to the face.  We are so grateful that Trooper Harrell survived and has overcome his injuries; but his experience reminds us of the inherent danger law enforcement faces every day and why my office and the U.S. Justice Department are proud to stand with Trooper Harrell who bravely faced this threat for all of us.”

This case is part of the Take Back North Carolina Initiative of The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina.  This initiative emphasizes the regional assignment of federal prosecutors to work with law enforcement and District Attorney’s Offices on a sustained basis in those communities to reduce the violent crime rate, drug trafficking, and crimes against law enforcement.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), United States Marshals Service, North Carolina State Highway Patrol, North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, Wilson County Sheriff’s Office, Nash County Sheriff’s Office, and Greenville Police Department investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Chad E. Rhoades  prosecuted the case.

John David Jones also faces state charges including attempted first-degree murder and possession of a stolen motor vehicle.