Hewett to remain jailed on federal gun charge

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Submitted: Fri, 07/11/2014 - 3:00am
Updated: Fri, 07/11/2014 - 12:21pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Former Brunswick County Sheriff Ron Hewett will remain in federal custody until a hearing next week, a judge ruled this morning.

Hewett made his initial appearance in federal court in Wilmington this morning to face a charge of possession of a firearm by a felon. ATF agents arrested him yesterday after executing a search warrant at Hewett’s Supply home and reportedly finding several firearms. Hewett is a felon after pleading guilty in 2008 to a federal obstruction of justice charge and state embezzlement charges earning him a 16-month sentence in federal prison.

Hewett arrived in court shackled at the hands and feet wearing a yellow golf shirt and camouflage shorts after spending the night in the Brunswick County Jail, which he oversaw during his 17 years as sheriff.

During the hearing Hewett repeatedly turned around to look at the reporters gathered in the courtroom, where no cameras are allowed. As he left court, Hewett looked toward his family and told them, “I love you.”

Hewett is due back in court July 18 for a probable cause hearing and a detention hearing, because federal prosecutors say they want to keep him in custody. Hewett’s attorney William Peregoy said it is a rare and difficult step by prosecutors to try to get a motion for detention in a case like this. Prosecutors say they plan to take Hewett’s case before a grand jury to get an indictment.

The US Attorney’s Office says if convicted of the gun charge Hewett faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years supervised release.


  • public says:

    I don’t understand why he makes public news when any other felon that is caught with a gun doesn’t make news headlines. Its sad that they have to keep referring to him as a Former Sheriff Ronald Hewett. Why don’t he get the same treatment as any other normal felon now days? He is just like any other US citizen and should be treated the same regardless of his past jobs

  • Rebekah McDonald Stanleyj says:

    I can’t believe News 6 could only find 1 family to say what a wonderful person Ronald is. During the last go round an elderly woman said she would not believe it unless it came straight from his mouth. Well there was no doubt whose voice was on those tapes.
    As far as why he’s made the news …..well he always wanted the news cameras on him when he was sheriff . I guess he no longer has a lot to say now that he can no longer control them.

  • Guest2020 says:

    He was a public figure. He left his public job in disgrace. That is why it is more newsworthy than other felons.

  • Disgusted Father says:

    Hopefully us tax payers are not flipping the bill for his lawyer’s fees . Attorney William Peregoys website site says he defends all scum even the sub humans who are facing child sex crimes. Yup another dirtbag!

  • Rebecca Sue DeFeo says:

    yea, as long as it IS just about keeping the law, but between you and me, I bet you there are a lot more serious law breakers out there that they could write up, but since they wouldn’t get the same ratings that even WWAY is using Hewett for, for profit in the way of a sensationalized news story. I
    f they really want a law breaker in office let talk about our illustrious man in the oval office and his current lawsuits and follies…that will affect our lives a lot more than Hewett and what ever vengeful vendettas that are still being waged against him.

  • Holly says:

    I can’t reason in my mind how so many can be so mean. This man did a lot for brunswick county the women and children. you see all the bad I might add that they are rumors and the facts only God knows. Please let him rest in peace. If you can not forgive your brother how am i to forgive you???? read your Bibles because all this judgement you will answer for. I pray for each of you daily that you will have forgiveness and let him rest in peace………

  • ShallotteCopper says:

    I hope who ever started the ball on Ronald, rolling, feels responsible for his death. He had already lost everything he cared about, so what was the purpose kicking him when he was down. To do what was done to him, was totally ridiculous. He paid his debt, and had a gun for his safety. He committed a non violent, white collar crime, but someone found it necessary to continue screwing with him. He have Brunswick County’s drug problem to low levels, not seen since the embarrassing drug conspiracy of the previous law enforcement community. People were quick to place that in the closet and forgive them. And then elect one of them to an elected position. Ronald’s crimes did not compare to these. People forgave and forgot those criminals. There are business’s operating today in Shallotte were purchased with drug money. But that is okay. Someone is responsible for this tragedy, and they should be made to account for it. It didn’t take a brain surgeon, or a shrink to know that this ending was a great possibility. Why wasn’t he put under constant watch? Hopefully this will cause a review of the way this was handled. So sad! And so predictable!

  • Vog46 says:

    As a Sheriff he probably created a lot of enemies which places him in more danger now.
    As a former Sheriff he knows the law and broke it…….
    There is no doubt he’s highly rained on firearms – but as a human being he’s also susceptible to mental failures.

    I don’t know which way to go with this one – but the law is the law until changed. The charges seem legitimate on their face.


  • Erlkoenig says:

    Another Dumocrat in jail. How cliché.

  • Ann says:

    He can not just continue to break the law. A convicted felon, yes, he should face the penalty if he continues to break the law he should know so well. Still waiting to see NC officials come down on him how he handled poor Davania Buff Jones’ MURDER. Cant believe that girls poor family has had such a time to prove the case when it is so clear cut…she DID NOT committ suicide!

  • Jason R says:

    SO an eighteen year old, over in a car of friends, one who was in possession of a ‘shroom’, any amount of which is a felony, and is a ‘drug’ charge, never to get in any more trouble and twenty years later should also not be allowed to possess a firearm for the purpose of hunting or defending family?
    No, each case should be heard on a case-by-case basis with common sense guidelines and a psychiatric history being heard by a qualified official and a group of unbiased peers, and character witness being head of the agenda.
    Saying no violent crimes, or no drugs is too vague in a situation where constitutional rights and liberties are at stake, when citizens live in a State, that has a few but not the many, crooked law enforcement officials like Hewett, who while within legal boundaries, applied no common sense, only personal vengeance in cases that were run across his desk. Cases for example, when the case focused on something say, seven-honor roll Brunswick County teens, who were arrested as first time offenders,charged AND convicted of a felony. A felony due to one teen out of the seven, who was found to be in possession of one mushroom, which contained just trace amounts of psilocybin. No.. a hearing of common sense, judged on a case-by-case basis, is what is needed. A teenager not versed in the ways and means of life, should not be judged as an adult for what she or he did in their past as a youth as long as the crime did not involve bodily harm and/or death. the adult should be judged as an adult. Just as in cases like Hewett. Someone guilty of stealing from tax payers and being dishonest, who is guilty of betraying the public’s trust should never have possession of anything that could endanger said public. A teen in trouble once in their life decades ago? That’s a different story, a story of seven now adults, still being punished for one idiotic high school mistake. Now THAT, is a a real crime… Thanks Ron! Have fun in jail. Karma is a bit…

  • Brad Johnson says:

    It appears he broke the law and will now pay for it, but the federal “felon with a firearm” laws need revisited. He pled guilty and served his time for a NON VIOLENT federal crime and once his debt to society was paid he should have the right to possess firearms on his property to defend himself, especially considering he is a former Sheriff with alot of enemies.

    The federal “felon with a firearm” statute needs to be changed to allow NON VIOLENT and NON DRUG related offenders to resume their 2nd amendment rights after serving their sentences. As well, they should be allowed to vote. This permanent revocation of Constitutional rights for felons is not what the Founders intended, there should be a pathway to regain your rights for certain types of offenders, especially considering practically anything and everything is a freaking federal crime anymore.

  • Guestman. says:

    Have you ever been convicted of a felony?
    Why should someone that has been convicted of a felony of any sort be allowed all the societal priviledges accorded to decent, law-abiding people?
    They have shown by their anti-social behavior that they should not be allowed to do certain things and foremost among them is own a firearm or be allowed to vote.
    BTW, all felons usually have a lot of enemies.

  • Guestman. says:

    Verbal abuse can be worse than physical abuse. If your neighbor has called more than once about this, I would say you have some problems with anger management. If it is bad enough you got convicted of a felony I would think there was more than just yelling at somebody involved.
    The person you were yelling at probably is not your best friend, either.

  • J.B. says:

    Not all felons have enemies. Not all felons are bad. Felonies can come from driving under suspension or an argument with your spouse (not fighting) but an argument that the neighbor called to complain about one to many times. So before you go mouthing off about all felons have enemies or imply that all felons are bad, think again buddy.

  • Guestman. says:

    There is a big difference between a misdemeanor and a felony. A lot of people do commit misdemeanors. Felonies are a whole different ball game and show anti-social behavior.

  • battlestar says:

    You might never have to defend yourself, but should the time come, you should be able to. Sort of like carrying a spare tire in your car. You are correct….this is not Dodge City. It is far more dangerous here than Dodge City. Everyone wore a gun in Dodge and there was plenty of mutual respect.

  • Grullet says:

    Three comments:

    First, Dodge City specifically barred the carrying of firearms. Google it. I did and here’s one article to read: http://huff.to/TtgT7d

    Second, my wife and I were both victims (separately) of crimes involving guns years ago. In neither case would we have been able to react in time with a weapon to prevent it. In fact, display or possession of a firearm would have likely escalated the circumstances to a worse outcome.

    Finally, it has always baffled me when we talk about the cycle of crime with respect to repeat offenders. There was a point in time in this country where we believed that those convicted of a crime could be rehabilitated. If a person successfully completes the length of his/her sentence (prison time plus parole), why do we still deny them (as we do in too many states) their rights (voting, firearms, etc) as citizens of this country? Where in the Constitution do we get this rationalization that conviction of a crime permanently revokes these rights?

  • Grullet says:

    Three comments:

    First, Dodge City specifically barred the carrying of firearms. Google it. I did and here’s one article to read: http://huff.to/TtgT7d

    Second, my wife and I were both victims (separately) of crimes involving guns years ago. In neither case would we have been able to react in time with a weapon to prevent it. In fact, display or possession of a firearm would have likely escalated the circumstances to a worse outcome.

    Finally, it has always baffled me when we talk about the cycle of crime with respect to repeat offenders. There was a point in time in this country where we believed that those convicted of a crime could be rehabilitated. If a person successfully completes the length of his/her sentence (prison time plus parole), why do we still deny them (as we do in too many states) their rights (voting, firearms, etc) as citizens of this country? Where in the Constitution do we get this rationalization that conviction of a crime permanently revokes these rights?

  • Guest-o-matic says:

    …become fluent, confident and you’ll be in better control when a pursued as “victim” the next time. You also need to pay attention to what’s going on around you. Remember, when your life depends on the next few seconds, the police are only minutes away.

    Go do some studies in law to answer your own questions about “why” felons are forever felons. Breaking federal law is serious business and has serious consequences. We all have choices and when those choices involve breaking federal law, be prepared to accept the consequences. Committing a felony isn’t a simple “mistake”, it’s a cognitive decision.

    Bernie Madeoff’s felony was simply stealing money from people, non-violent, but would you want him to manage YOUR checking account? Just research the criminals that get reported on this website alone, in this tiny county, in this one little state. You’ll find the vast majority will have at least 5 and up to 30+ felony convictions. There isn’t on single excuse why they are still allowed roam freely in society. Going “soft” on criminals clearly doesn’t work. The revolving courtroom door and the 3-ring circus in the courtroom is one of the very reasons you and your wife were “victims of crimes involving guns” in the first place. You were actually “victims of crimes involving criminals”. It’s likely they could’ve performed those crimes against you just as easily with a knife or a baseball bat.

  • Robert Earl says:

    How often do you have to “defend yourself” with a firearm? We don’t exactly live in Dodge City there cowboy.

  • sam2020 says:

    You have no clue what you are talking about. This county has more danger than you think!!

  • zenobia says:

    In many states people have known enough felons to realize that pretty much anyone can end up in jail for a felony at any time, thanks to our insane laws, and are voting to allow non violent felons to resume their full rights as American citizens once they have served their time. If all felons could vote our prison system would certainly get cleaned up. The folks who have been in it know how corrupt the system is, that is why the police unions and the private prison system want to keep non violent felons marginalized. That said, why didn’t his son do something about his Dad’s gun collection?

  • Fake felonies says:

    Some laws are unjust and once a person pays thief debit to society that should be the end of it. No crime carries life loss of rights. Your attitude is part of the problem with judgmental America that keep the excons committing crimes. Because we keep punishing them. They have paid their dies made up for their wrongs. We can not shun part of humanity and expect them to conform to misdirected standards. No one is perfect there are those who have be caught and those that have not… Name one person that hasn’t broke a law ever …. Impossible.

  • Guest2020 says:

    Part of his debt to society includes him being prohibited from having firearm. He knew that when he committed his crimes and if he was’t willing to deal with the consequence then he shouldn’t have committed the crimes.

  • Barry says:

    Because gary4747. It is the law. His son is in law enforcement. He knew his dad had guns and should have either corrected his dad or reported the infraction. Perhaps had they gone about this a different way,,,Ronald knew his penalty, no guns, and he failed his obligation. The law blankets, it has to in this case. He flaunted it.

    He is an arrogant, I was done wrong delusional person. It is what it is. Frankly, He did not serve enough time the first time around. Karma is hell.

  • Meerkat says:

    All felons pay their dept to society. They also lose their right to have guns in their homes. If it is the law for ordinary felons to lose that privilege, it’s the law for him too. Why should he have special treatment? He broke the law and lost his position as sheriff, thats his boo boo!

  • guest111 says:

    a felon is a felon. If you let one slide the lawsuits would fly for racism and not letting all felons have guns. This would be a tremendous argument heard in every court every time a felon gets caught with a gun. Law is the law. You can’t pick and choose.

  • Guest2020 says:

    Officers who get convicted of crimes are not put into the general population.

  • Guest-o-matic says:


    Please don’t tell us that you are a police officer!

    For one thing you are yelling with your caps lock on (Hint: It’s that little button on the left side of your keyboard.).

    Second, you are struggling severely to be able to complete a comprehensible sentence, much less a paragraph. You can’t spell and struggle with grammar.

    Third, your writing displays ignorance, disrespect and pent-up anger. None of those are admirable qualities for a police officer and just happens to be some of the very reasons the public has disdain for law enforcement.

    We really don’t want to know, just try to refrain from any more of your bragging in the future. We do not need or want Po-Po’s like you!!!

  • donka 151 says:


  • becca7138 says:

    No wonder the states split right about there in Brunswick County. Such ignorance and bullying belong in the dark ages. Cross on over to Horry County where people don’t still spit tobacco and gang up on their own vigilante style…..and btw….get your mind out of the gutter, think you can say anything just because your identity is hidden? It makes all of BC po po look like bunch of bigoted VENGEFUL AND JEALOUS COWARDS! (and that’s how u use the caps uneducated “Law man”)

  • Barry says:

    and soon to be a twice convicted felon. There is absolutely no excuse he can render to purge himself of this situation.

    Also, his son being in the police business is complicit as well. He a lawman and he does not bring this to light. To me the corruption runs deep in this bunch.

    Ron, get ready to spend some more time in Butner only this time I have a feeling it will be longer that a year.

  • gary4747 says:

    Barry, Why do you bring Justin into this? He is his own man and doing a good job for the fine citizens on Columbus County. Personally I disagree with the fact that Ronald should be convicted of this crime. Yeah he is a convicted felon but he has paid his debt to society and paid a great price for it. Why are the ATF in the projects arresting the felons there for having guns?? At least Ronald hasn’t been out shooting up the streets and peddling drugs. But all that is neither here nor there, as it comes to his son.. Leave him alone and let him be his own man!!!!

  • guest111 says:

    Leave his son out of this. He has absolutely NOTHING to do with it. Don’t be so petty as to bring the son into it to hurt him. Having Ron as a father has probably been enough already to shame him and upset him.

  • taxpayer says:

    How did agents with the ATF become aware of the firearms reportedly in his possession, which resulted in a warrant being issued?

  • sam2020 says:

    Duhhhhh….. who was the best friends that made all those recordings?? I think that is the real question. Most that live nearby???

  • guest111 says:

    I can’t get over how unhealthy he has gotten. So Sad

  • 1889 says:

    gary 4747, how are you related to Ron?

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