SMITHFIELD, NC (The Johnston County Report) – An illegal immigrant caught with a gun last month outside the Johnston County Courthouse in Smithfield has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Raleigh.
Erick Galeana Piedra, 27, of Mexico was among a crowd that had gathered near the Second Street entrance to the county jail around 5:00am on July 9th. Jailors and a deputy were trying to clear the crowd when the deputy reportedly saw a handgun fall from Piedra’s clothing.
Piedra reportedly picked up the weapon and refused the officer’s commands to drop the 40 caliber Glock. During a struggle the deputy was able to disarm Piedra and arrest him.
John Stuart Bruce, US Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, announced Wednesday a grand jury had returned an indictment against Piedra for being an illegal and unlawful alien in possession of a firearm. If convicted he could face a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.
The case is being investigated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Homeland Security Investigations.
Piedra, who listed his address as Henderson, NC, is also facing state charges in Johnston County of possession of a weapon on courthouse property, carrying a concealed gun and concealing a gun after consuming alcohol.