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Concord Men Sentenced for Firearm Offenses After the Pair of Convicted Felons Possessed Guns in Music Video Posted on Social Media

WINSTON SALEM, N.C. – A judge in federal district court sentenced AJENEE SEMUELL FORTE to 100 months in prison today for possession of a firearm by a felon, announced United States Attorney Sandra J. Hairston of the Middle District of North Carolina. 

According to court documents, in June 2021, detectives with the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office discovered a social media account belonging to AHMAD JALON THOMAS, 24, also known as “Cap Shotta,” that contained a link to a music video wherein THOMAS and his co-defendant, AJENEE SEMUELL FORTE, 31, were shown waving and pointing handguns. At the time the music video entitled, “Life on the Run,” was posted on YouTube and Instagram, both THOMAS and FORTE had outstanding orders for arrest. FORTE was also on federal supervised release resulting from a prior conviction for the same offense.

On June 23, 2021, members of the United States Marshals Regional Fugitive Task Force went to an address in Concord, North Carolina, in an attempt to arrest FORTE on the outstanding warrant. He was apprehended, and a search was conducted of the same apartment unit where the music video was filmed. There, officers found firearms, ammunition, drug paraphernalia, and 235.4 grams of marijuana. At the time of the firearm possession, FORTE had previously been convicted of a felony firearm possession offense and was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition.

United States District Judge Loretta C. Biggs sentenced FORTE to a 100-month term of imprisonment and a 3-year term of federal supervised release. FORTE pled guilty at arraignment to an Information containing one count of felon in possession of a firearm on November 10, 2022, in case number 1:22CR361-1. His codefendant THOMAS was sentenced for the same crime to 36 months imprisonment and 3 years of supervised release on June 22, 2023, in case number 1:22CR83-2.

The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the United States Marshals Regional Fugitive Task Force. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Craig M. Principe.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

Source : Justice