A 61-year-old local man with an extensive prior criminal record — including threatening to kill a state trooper nearly 23 years ago — has been ordered to spend 15 years in federal prison for possession of firearms and ammunition by a felon.
Arthur Thomas Vick was sentenced on Friday by U.S. District Judge Louise Flanagan. Additionally, Flanagan ordered Vick to serve five years under supervised release after he completes his sentence.
Vick, in papers filed Monday by a federal public defender, stated he is appealing Flanagan’s ruling to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va.
Vick was indicted on Oct. 10, 2018, for committing the offense on or about Aug. 24, 2018. Vick pleaded guilty on Sept. 18.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Raleigh, in a statement on Monday, said Vick was found to be an armed career criminal, meaning he was subject to a minimum of 15 years behind bars.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Vick was arrested nearly a year and a half ago after Rocky Mount police responded to a report of domestic violence at an apartment.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the caller told the emergency operator Vick threatened her with a handgun and said arriving officers saw Vick engaging in a shouting match with the woman.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office also said officers found a loaded firearm hidden in Vick’s waistband and another firearm in the trunk of the vehicle Vick had been using.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office also said Vick’s criminal record includes having been convicted once before at the federal level for possession of a firearm by a felon.
This is not the first time Vick has gotten into trouble with law enforcement as a result of violence.
On Jan. 22, 1997, the Telegram reported Vick was jailed without bond after fighting Trooper M.O. Jones after being halted for speeding on Halifax Road near N.C. 97 southwest of Rocky Mount.
The Telegram report said there were four other people in the vehicle, so Jones searched Vick and put Vick in the patrol vehicle for questioning on suspicion of driving while impaired.
The report said Vick became uncooperative. Jones radioed for assistance and continued questioning Vick.
The report said Vick pulled a .380-caliber handgun from his coat pocket, shoved the firearm into the trooper’s stomach and threatened to kill him. After a struggle began, Jones pulled out his service weapon and Vick became apologetic and cooperative, but two more firearms and about an ounce of marijuana were found in Vick’s vehicle.
State Public Safety records show Vick was convicted in July 1998 in Nash County for attempted second-degree murder, a motor vehicle violation and driving while his license was revoked.
The records show Vick was sentenced to a minimum of 10 years and a month to a maximum of 12 years and 11 months as a result of that conviction.
The records show Vick’s list of convictions in the state court system can be traced as far back as 1983, with the offense being larceny over $200 in Nash County.
The records show that, through the years, Vick became well known to the court system in Nash County.
Specifically, the records show convictions for felony breaking and entering, misdemeanor breaking and entering, receiving stolen goods, maintaining a place for controlled substances and resisting an officer.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office, in the statement on Monday, said the recent federal case against Vick is part of Project Guardian, which is the Justice Department’s initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the case against Vick also is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods to bring together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make neighborhoods safer for everyone.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said their team implemented the program through the Take Back North Carolina Initiative.
U.S. Attorney Robert Higdon, who announced the initiative, warned violent offenders and anyone selling illegal drugs, particularly opioids, to cease their behavior or prepare to suffer the consequences.