Former Brunswick County sheriff facing federal weapons charge

Former Brunswick County sheriff Ronald Hewett, a convicted felon, is facing a new federal charge that he had guns at his home this week, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Wilmington, N.C.

Hewett, 51, of Supply, N.C., was taken into custody Wednesday after federal authorities found multiple guns at his home, according to authorities. Hewett made his initial appearance in court Thursday morning on a charge of possession of a firearm by a felon.

If convicted, Hewett faces up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.

Hewett is considered a convicted felon after he pleaded guilty June 2, 2008, to obstruction of justice and was sentenced to 16 months in prison on Oct. 6, 2008. Hewett also spent two years on supervised release after his active prison sentence.

Hewett's conviction came after he tried to hamper a federal investigation probing allegations that he ordered sheriff's department staff to do work at his home along N.C. 130 between Shallotte and Holden Beach. The county was paying the staff members' salaries while they worked at his house.

Prosecutors also said that Hewett had employees campaign for him on county time.