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Salisbury man gets 13 years on firearms charge, release violation

SALISUBURY — A local man was sentenced in federal court to more than 13 years in prison Thursday on a charge of possession of a firearm by a felon and a supervised release violation, according to Matthew G.T. Martin, U.S. attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina.

Judge N. Carlton Tilley Jr. sentenced Donald Tiberio Armstrong, 38, of Salisbury, to 120 months in prison on the firearms charge. At the time of that offense, Armstrong was on supervised release. He was sentenced to 37 months in prison for the supervised release violation, a term to be served consecutively with the firearms sentence.

Armstrong pleaded guilty in March 2018.

After completion of his sentence, he will serve three years of supervised release, the news release stated.

The charges stem from an August 2017 incident in which deputies with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office arranged for an undercover officer to purchase an ounce of methamphetamine from Armstrong.

During the transaction, officers monitoring the audio of the deal heard Armstrong tell the officer to “put your hands up.” Armstrong had taken the officer’s handgun from the holster on his hip and pointed it at the officer’s face, a news release said.

As other officers surrounded the vehicle, Armstrong dropped the handgun in the back seat and the officer regained possession of the firearm, a news release said. A search of the vehicle and surrounding area led to the recovery of the money used to make the methamphetamine purchase, a news release said.

Armstrong previously was convicted of trafficking in cocaine by possession and possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Terry M. Meinecke.

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