Wilmington man pleads guilty in December attempted armed robbery of informant

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Joseph Edward Hanible
Joseph Edward Hanible

A Wilmington man was sentenced to more than five years in prison after pleading guilty to an armed robbery attempt in December 2014.

Joseph Edward Hanible, 28, pleaded guilty Wednesday to attempted armed robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon and possession of a firearm by a felon, according to District Attorney Ben David. Superior Court Judge Kenneth Crow sentenced Hanible to 67-93 months in the N.C. Department of Corrections.

Detectives with New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office used a confidential informant to attempt to purchase the drug ecstasy on Dec. 15, 2014. The confidential informant went to meet the suspects in the parking lot of Wal-Mart on Carolina Beach Road.

Hanible, who police say is a gang member, was driving a black Mercedes with three passengers inside, David said. The informant entered the vehicle with $2,000 of marked “buy money” in an attempt to make an undercover purchase of the drug.

“Instead of exchanging the drugs for money, Hanible and the front seat passenger pulled out handguns and the confidential informant was ordered to give up his money,” David said. “Because the meeting was under surveillance of law enforcement, the confidential informant was able to communicate to police that he was being robbed.”

According to the investigation, the words “shoot him” or “don’t’ shoot him” could be heard on the informant’s recording device, David said.

Law enforcement arrived and removed the car’s occupants before they were able to get the money. Officers also recovered a two firearms.

Tamrick Jamar Hobley, 20, Matthew Lewis Roushey, 20, and Demetrius Allen Campbell, 23, were also arrested in connection with the case. All three defendants have pending charges in the case and are scheduled to make their next appearance in New Hanover County Superior Court on May 11.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Timothy Severo. Defense attorney Todd Fennell represented Hanible.