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Rocky Mount Man Receives 8-Year Sentence for Illegal Firearm Possession After High-Speed Chase

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. – A Rocky Mount resident has been sentenced to 96 months in federal prison following a perilous high-speed chase that endangered a child and a puppy. Chi-Ali Bunn, 29, was convicted for possessing an unregistered short-barreled rifle during the incident.

The chase, which occurred in January 2023, began when Bunn, a convicted felon, attempted to evade a Nash County Sheriff’s Office license check. Upon spotting the checkpoint, Bunn reversed direction, prompting a pursuit by deputies. As they engaged their lights, Bunn accelerated to speeds of 111 miles per hour, weaving through traffic, running multiple stop signs, and even driving on the wrong side of the road.

The pursuit continued into Zebulon, where deputies from the Wake County Sheriff’s Office deployed stop sticks that successfully disabled Bunn’s vehicle. It was only after the vehicle was stopped that authorities discovered a young child and a small puppy inside, neither of whom were injured.

Upon searching the vehicle, deputies uncovered a loaded 9mm handgun, a .223 caliber rifle with a barrel length of 7.5 inches, a high-capacity drum magazine, and drugs including Oxycodone pills and cocaine residue.

“This defendant fled police in a high-speed chase with guns, drugs, and a kid in the car,” stated U.S. Attorney Michael Easley. “A short-barreled rifle and high-capacity drum magazine have no place around a child, especially in a car traveling at such dangerous speeds.”

Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone praised the collaboration between local law enforcement and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, emphasizing the role of such partnerships in maintaining community safety.

The case was investigated by the Nash and Wake County Sheriff’s Offices along with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Phil Aubart led the prosecution.

Chi-Ali Bunn pleaded guilty to the charges on September 26, 2023, before being sentenced by U.S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle. Details on the case can be found on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina’s website or through the PACER service by searching for Case No. 5:23-cr-00127-BO-RJ.



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