The Catawba County Sheriff’s Office participated in a local, state and federal operation named “Project Guardian” which has resulted in the seizure of more than 100 firearms and the indictment of 17 Hickory Metro area residents on federal firearms and narcotics violations. The firearms that have been recovered were stolen, unregistered and or have been used in the commission of violent crimes.
The 17 individuals indicted on firearms violations are: 22-year-old Trevin Ali Brown, 30-year-old Chaetez Sean Clayton, 28-year-old Donte Rassan Gore, 30-year-old Daquan Lashawn Ikard, 36-year-old Gevon Marquise King, 33-year-old Line Germaine Linebarger, 28-year-old Robbie Octavion Little, 35-year-old Curese Devin McIlwain, 29-year-old Stanley Earl Reed, 25-year-old Meguel Greylen Robinson, 37-year-old Nicholas Anthony Santellan, 23-year-old Michael Dwane Wiliams, 25-year-old Wilburn Jonathan Wilson, and 38-year-old Tou Yang 38, all of Hickory, along with 30-year-old LaShawn Malcolm Davis of Catawba, 26-year-old Martavious Steven Isbell of Granite Falls and 25-year-old Craig Anthony Ruff of Newton.
They were all scheduled to make their first court appearance in Charlotte today (September 18). Davis, Gore, McIlwain Robison, Santellan, Wilson and Yang are also facing drug trafficking charges. Project Guardian is the Justice Department’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by Attorney General William P. Barr in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence, and enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes.
The following agencies were involved in this operation: The United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina, The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF), The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, Hickory Police Department, Long View Police Department and Catawba County Sheriff’s Office. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), United States Marshals Service, United States Secret Service and the Burke County Sheriff’s Office also assisted with the arrests of these defendants.
Scott Reilly, District Attorney for Caldwell, Burke and Catawba Counties, and his office also assisted and coordinated with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.