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  • Press Release from Scott Thomas, District Attorney,

Habitual felon sentenced to prison for role in Fairfield Harbour larceny

Habitual felon sentenced to a minimum of over 18 years to 24 years in prison for role in Fairfield Harbour larceny, obtaining property by false pretenses.

New Bern, North Carolina – District Attorney Scott Thomas and Craven County Sheriff Chip Hughes announced that THOMAS GREGORY LONG, 43, of New Bern, NC was sentenced to a minimum of over 18 years up to 24 years in prison after a jury returned guilty verdicts following a three-day trial in Craven County Superior Court last week. The jury deliberated a little over an hour Thursday before returning verdicts of guilty as charged to Felonious Larceny, Felonious Possession of Stolen Property, and Obtaining Property by False Pretenses. Superior Court Judge Clinton D. Rowe presided over the trial and handed down the sentence. The State of North Carolina was represented at trial by Assistant District Attorney Augustus D. Willis, assisted by Legal Assistant Rosa Martinez.

Evidence presented at trial showed that in October 2020 the Craven County Sheriff’s Office conducted an investigation in response to multiple reports of vehicle breaking and enterings and larcenies from residents of the Fairfield Harbour and Broad Creek Road communities of Craven County. In the early morning hours on the date a kayak had been reported stolen, surveillance cameras in Fairfield Harbour captured a brown Chevrolet Tahoe towing a trailer as it entered Fairfield Harbour, exiting a few minutes later with a kayak matching the description of the stolen kayak visible inside the trailer. During the course of the investigation, deputies learned that the kayak in the surveillance footage had been sold at a pawn shop located in Onslow County on the same day it had been stolen from Fairfield Harbour. Deputies recovered the kayak along with surveillance video footage from the pawn shop showing LONG and two co-defendants arriving in the same Chevrolet Tahoe depicted in the Fairfield Harbour surveillance video and carrying the stolen kayak into the pawn shop where they represented it as their own property in order to sell it. Investigation revealed that LONG and other co-defendants had been in Fairfield Harbour on multiple occasions to commit breaking and enterings and larcenies during the timeframe of the reported crimes, and that in the hours prior to being captured on the surveillance video with the stolen kayak at the pawn shop, had traveled in the Tahoe to Fairfield Harbour where they stole the kayak, later sharing in the proceeds from the sale of the stolen kayak to the pawn shop.

At sentencing, in asking the Court to impose consecutive habitual felon sentences, Assistant District Attorney Willis called the Court’s attention to the defendant’s extensive criminal history .dating back to 1996 which included multiple prior convictions for Felonious Larceny and Obtaining Property by False Pretenses, as well as convictions for Possession of Burglary Tools, Assault with a Deadly Weapon Inflicting Serious Injury, Felony Death by Vehicle, Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, and other misdemeanor and felony convictions.

District Attorney Scott Thomas said, “My office takes property crimes committed against the citizens of our district very seriously. Property crimes invade the privacy and security of homes and property of the people we serve. The jury heard the evidence and returned guilty verdicts and the lengthy sentence is due to the defendant’s criminal record and status as an habitual felon. The Craven County Sheriff’s Office did a good job investigating these crimes and ADA Willis prosecuted this case successfully.”

Sheriff Chip Hughes stated, “This defendant has been responsible for multiple property crimes in the Broad Creek Road and Fairfield Harbour areas of our county. I appreciate the hard work of the Craven County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Bureau and District Attorney Scott Thomas’ office which resulted in these convictions and a substantial prison sentence for a career criminal.”

NOTE: Under North Carolina Structured Sentencing law, a convicted criminal defendant must serve all the minimum active sentence and may be required to serve up to the maximum sentence. Upon release at the conclusion of the prison sentence, a nine-to-twelve-month period of post-release supervision by a probation officer is required.

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