Wilmington felon receives 54 months for gun offense

Published 4:09 pm Monday, October 31, 2022

From U.S. Attorney Michael Easley / Eastern District of North Carolina

WILMINGTON, N.C. –– Rufus Lamar Bowser, 30, was sentenced today to 54 months in prison for felon in possession of a firearm. On July 7, 2022, Bowser pleaded guilty to the charges.  According to court documents and other information presented in court, on January 19, 2022, officers with the Wilmington Police Department conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle in which the defendant was a passenger. Based on the defendant’s actions and the detection of the odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle, officers asked the occupants to step out of the vehicle. When officers attempted to frisk the defendant for weapons, he tried to run from officers and a brief struggle ensued. During the struggle, a loaded pistol fell from the defendant’s pocket.

At the time of the offense, the defendant was on post release supervision for his 2008 convictions for second-degree murder and robbery with a dangerous weapon. Additionally, the defendant had outstanding warrants for his arrest for absconding from supervision and attempted first degree burglary.

Michael Easley U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III.  The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the Wilmington Police Department’s Gun Crime Task Force, and the Mobile Field Force Unit investigated the case and Special Assistant United States Attorney William Van Trigt prosecuted the case. Van Trigt is a prosecutor with the New Hanover County District Attorney’s Office assigned to the U.S. Attorney’s Office to prosecute federal violent crimes and other criminal matters.  This has been made possible by a grant funded by New Hanover County.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

A copy of this press release is located on our website. Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 7:22-cr-00035-D.