10/18/2019 | Press release | Archived content
RALEIGH- United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr., announced that today in federal court, United States District Judge James C. Dever, III, sentenced Ricky Fitzgerald Artis, 49, of Fayetteville to 216 months' imprisonment, followed by 5 years of supervised release. ARTISand co-defendant Clifton Currie were named in a three-count Indictment on October 18, 2018, charging both men with attempted interference with commerce by robbery and brandishing and discharging a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, and ARTIS alone with possession of a firearm by a felon.
ARTISpled guilty to the charges of robbery and brandishing and discharging on July 31, 2019. His sentencing followed that of his codefendant. Currie, who pled guilty to charges of robbery and brandishing a firearm, received a sentence of 144 months' imprisonment and 5 years of supervised release on July 24, 2019.
According to the information presented to the Court, on July 31, 2018, RICKY ARTIS and Clifton Currie attempted to rob a man who they knew to be dealing drugs out of a hotel in Fayetteville, North Carolina. A man with a pistol, later identified as ARTIS, entered the hotel room, yelled 'Where is it,' and then fired two rounds into the victim's chest. The victim admitted to police that ARTIS stole a bag of crack cocaine from a table before fleeing from the room. Currie served as lookout, but peered into the room, as confirmed by hallway surveillance video showing both men. The victim sustained multiple gunshot wounds and as a result is now paralyzed from the waist down. Both ARTIS and Currie subsequently confessed to their roles in the robbery.
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 make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Since 2017, the United States Department of Justice has reinvigorated the PSN program and has targeted violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney's Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.That effort has been implemented through the Take Back North Carolina Initiative of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina. This initiative emphasizes the regional assignment of federal prosecutors to work with law enforcement and District Attorney's Offices in those communities on a sustained basis to reduce the violent crime rate, drug trafficking, and crimes against law enforcement.
The Fayetteville Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) conducted the investigation in this case. Assistant United States Attorney Jake D. Pugh represented the government.