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Federal judges sentence two Winston-Salem men to prison for gun-related offenses

Federal judges sentence two Winston-Salem men to prison for gun-related offenses

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Federal judges in Greensboro have sentenced two Winston-Salem men to prison after they were convicted of gun-related offenses, authorities said.

Judge William L. Osteen Jr. of U.S. District Court sentenced Shammohd Jameil Ballah, 22, to nine years in federal prison and put Ballah on three years of supervised release, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement.

Ballah, 22, pleaded guilty in June to possession of a firearm by felon, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

On Nov. 4, 2019, Winston-Salem police investigated a drive-by shooting at a home on Bethabara Road and found shell casings on the ground and numerous holes on the home's exterior, court documents show. Investigators found 11 spent shell casings at the scene.

Based on interviews with witnesses, investigators linked Ballah to the shooting, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Ballah was on state probation at the time, and court-ordered GPS monitoring placed Ballah in the area of the shooting, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. Investigators tracked Ballah to his apartment and found him outside in a vehicle, which contained a handgun.

Ballah was convicted of possession of a stolen firearm in Forsyth Superior Court in 2017. A judge placed Ballah on probation for three years.

In the second case, Judge Catherine Eagles of U.S. District Court sentenced Darrian Sylvester Scott Jr., earlier this week to serve seven years and eight months in federal prison, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Scott, 22, had been convicted of possession of a firearm by a felon in May, according to a court record. 

On Jan. 7, two Winston-Salem police officers saw Scott in a car parked on Short Street in the Piedmont Circle Apartments, a court record showed. Scott, who was described in court papers as a gang member, was a suspect in a recent shooting in the city.

The officers attempted to stop Scott's car on East 29th Street as he left the apartment complex, the court records show. Scott the left the vehicle and ran from the scene.

The officers chased Scott and arrested him, a court record showed. One of the officers found a handgun in the car.

A federal investigator learned that Scott's handgun was manufactured outside of North Carolina, and Scott's possession of it violated federal law, according to a court record.

In addition, Scott served one year in state prison about he was convicted in October 2017 of common law robbery, the records show.

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