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Accused man first claims to be an ‘agricultural product’
Later flees, then convicted in absentia — surfaces disguised as a woman

Willis wore a wig at the time of his capture, but looks better in his official mugshot.

BEAUFORT, N.C. — Jerry Wayne Willis, 44, of Morehead City, has been sentenced to prison for several criminal charges.

On Sept. 12, Willis was convicted in absentia by a jury in Carteret County, on multiple counts: Willis was for Selling Methamphetamine, Possession with Intent to Sell or Deliver Methamphetamine, Possession with Intent to Sell or Deliver Heroin, Possession with Intent to Sell or Deliver Suboxone, and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.

Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Benjamin G. Alford presided over this sentencing, and the cases were prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney David Spence.


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Willis sold methamphetamine to an undercover informant working with the Morehead City Police Department on August 26, 2016. That sale led to the issuance of a search warrant at his residence located on Northgate Road in Morehead City. That search turned up quantities of heroin and suboxone packaged for sale, and several firearms. The firearms included an Eagle Arms semi-automatic rifle along with a kit to convert it to “automatic fire” and a Mossberg shotgun. Also recovered were four bulletproof vests with armor plate inserts.

Willis, as a self-declared “sovereign citizen” refused all assistance of counsel and on the afternoon of Monday, September 11, 2017, Superior Court Judge Andrew Heath denied his motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction — based on a bogus court filing in the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State.

Willis claimed to be not a person, but some sort of “agricultural product,” and therefore not subject to the laws of North Carolina or the United States. He also told Judge Heath that his name was not Jerry Willis but Willis Jerry.

With his motions denied, a jury was selected and empaneled that day, with testimony to begin Tuesday morning, Sept. 12, but Willis fled. However, the trial continued in his absence, pursuant to North Carolina law. He was convicted but not sentenced pending his capture.

Two weeks later, in the early morning hours of Monday, Sept. 25, Sgt. Jeremy Miller of the Morehead City Police Department had obtained information and surveilled a house located near Willis’ residence. Miller observed three females packing up and leaving in the dead of night.

The police officer performed a traffic stop on the car. Inside the car, laying in the backseat was Jerry Wayne Willis disguised in a female wig.

Willis was brought before Judge Alford later in the day, and was given a prison sentence of 54-102 months, followed by a 6-17 month sentence for the PWISD Suboxone, suspended for 36 months of supervised probation, with a $10,000 fine and all court costs.

NOTE: Under North Carolina Structured Sentencing law, a convicted criminal defendant must serve all of 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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