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Convicted felon gets new sentence on gun charge

GREENSBOROA Lexington resident was sentenced on Feb. 6 in federal court in Greensboro for knowingly possessing a firearm after previously being convicted of a felony, announced U.S. Attorney Matthew G.T. Martin of the Middle District of North Carolina. 

Franklin Alexander Mills, 39, was convicted by a jury in September 2019 of knowingly possessing a .45 caliber handgun after previously being convicted of a felony offense punishable by imprisonment for more than one year.

Trial evidence showed that on Dec. 27, 2018, a Salisbury Police officer initiated a traffic stop on Mills’ vehicle. As the officer made it to the driver’s side door of the vehicle, Mills accelerated and fled.

Multiple police units joined the pursuit, during which time Mills committed numerous traffic violations. Officers briefly lost sight of the vehicle, but were alerted less than a minute later to a vehicle crash on Bringle Ferry Road.

When officers arrived at the scene of the crash they saw Mills’ vehicle, but Mills had fled on foot. A search of the vehicle led to the discovery of a Hi-Point .45 pistol on the driver’s side floorboard. Investigators also located a driver’s license and registration with Mills’ name.

At approximately 3 a.m. on Dec. 28, 2018, law enforcement officers arrested Mills at Lexington Hospital after being notified that he was there seeking treatment. Mills has multiple prior felony convictions, including a 2010 federal conviction in the Middle District of North Carolina for firearm and controlled substance violations. Mills was on supervised release from that conviction at the time of his arrest in 2018. 

U.S. District Judge William L. Osteen Jr. sentenced Mills to a 24-month term of imprisonment for violating the terms of his supervised release, and up to a 115-month term of imprisonment for the felon in possession of a firearm charge, and ordered that the sentences run consecutively.

In addition to prison time, Mills was ordered to serve three years of supervised release and to pay a special assessment of $100. 

The case was investigated by the Salisbury Police Department and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Terry M. Meinecke. 

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