Wilmington gang member sentenced to decade in prison for firearm and drug trafficking charges

Law enforcement identified him as a member of the 720 Folk Nation Gang.
Published: May. 22, 2023 at 4:21 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - A Wilmington man was sentenced to 10 years in prison on May 22 after pleading guilty to possession of a firearm by a felon and possession with intent to distribute MDMA (Ecstasy) and marijuana on Feb. 13, 2022.

A Wilmington police officer reportedly attempted to stop a car driven by 29-year-old Veshon Lendell Shaw, alias ‘Play Maker’, on July 29, 2021, for a revoked license and a traffic violation. Shaw pulled into a parking lot in the Creekwood area and sped off onto North 30th Street.

Shaw’s car was boxed in by law enforcement after he struck a law enforcement van on Market Street and fled on foot but was arrested soon after. Officers found in his possession an ounce of ecstasy and $1,200. A stolen 9mm handgun and marijuana was located in his car.

According to court documents and information presented in court, Shaw told officers he was not afraid to ‘sit down’, which law enforcement says meant Shaw was claiming he was not afraid to serve a prison sentence. He also reportedly told officers it would just give him a chance to meet a new ‘plug’, or a source of supply for drugs.

Shaw had prior convictions for selling a controlled substance in 2012, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in 2013, common law robbery in 2015 and selling heroin in 2015. Law enforcement identified him as a member of the 720 Folk Nation Gang.

“This defendant led law enforcement on a high-speed chase and crashed into a police vehicle,” said U.S. Attorney Easley. “When apprehended, he bragged that he wasn’t afraid to spend time in prison. Today’s sentence makes the Wilmington community safer by putting him behind bars for the next 10 years.”

Shaw’s arrest is part of Operation ‘Golfer’, which is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces investigation.

“Violent criminals have no place on our streets. We will continue to do everything we can to ensure that those who are responsible for criminal activity are held accountable for their actions. We appreciate the partnerships we have with various agencies who helped us bring this case to a close. I am also grateful to the women and men of the Wilmington Police Department for their continued pursuit of justice to ensure a safe community for all,” said Chief Donny Williams.