Bless our heart, under authoritarian rule, loyalty is regarded as more important than competence....

Greenville man who impersonated SBI agent gets prison time

100417 Ricky Jay Ball

Ricky Jay Ball


The Daily Reflector

Thursday, December 7, 2017

A Greenville man who once pretended to be an SBI agent and a Navy Seal was sentenced to eight years in a federal penitentiary on other charges.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Malcolm J. Howard sentenced Ricky Jay Ball, 40, to the eight-year prison sentence, followed by three years of supervised release. Ball pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a firearm and ammunition by a felon, two counts of obstruction of justice and one count of altering a military discharge certificate.

The FBI began investigating Ball in May 2015 after receiving information from the Greenville Police Department that Ball claimed to work for the State Bureau of Investigation, according to a news release from the office of Robert J. Higdon, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

Ball told an intern at Greenville Fire-Rescue that he was in court often due to his job and he obtained warrants on individuals for committing crimes as part of his job. He told the intern he could get her parking tickets dismissed, but when she received a late notice in the mail for the unpaid parking tickets, she began to get suspicious.

In early November of 2015, Ball’s name appeared in police reports as the loss prevention officer for Sears in Greenville, and he established a working relationship with members of the Greenville Police Department and the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office and asked some of them if they wanted to shoot with him at the firing range.

According to the Greenville Police Department, he once responded to assist EMS with a medical emergency and was observed to be in possession of blue light, a silver badge and handgun in a holster, and he had a history of impersonating an officer in Guilford and Alamance counties.

He was convicted in Guilford County in 2005 of possession of a firearm of a felon and impersonating an peace officer and was convicted in Alamance County in 2013 of impersonating a peace officer.

A detective with the sheriff’s office saw him with a pistol on April 28, 2016, while Ball was employed at Sears, the news release said. The detective documented his observation discovering Ball was a convicted felon.

An interview with Ball’s store manager at Sears revealed that the manager observed Ball in possession of a badge and firearm during his employment at Sears, and on May 28, 2016, Greenville police arrested Ball for impersonating a law enforcement officer. 

During a search of his residence, the sheriff’s office seized a 9mm pistol, four pistol magazines and numerous rounds of ammunition from his bedroom closet. Law enforcement later learned the firearm was purchased by a man in Asheville and when the seller was interviewed by investigators, he stated he sold the firearm to a man who identified himself as Ricky Bennett, which is an alias of Ball’s.

He told investigators that Ball showed him his military identification and that Ball claimed he had trained with the U.S. Navy Seals. On June 6, 2016, Greenville plice charged Ball with possession of a firearm by a felon.

On May 17, 2017, a probation violation hearing was held in the U.S. Magistrate Court in New Bern to revoke Ball’s federal probation based on his conduct of possessing a firearm as a felon and impersonating law enforcement. During the hearing, Ball submitted numerous false and fabricated documents to the court. They included fraudulent letters from his employer, community-services providers and medical providers.

Additionally, Ball altered a military discharge certificate and changed his separation from the U.S. Marine Corps from “involuntary” to “medical.”

On Nov. 12, 2015, Ball received a two-year probationary sentenced in the Eastern District of Virginia, following misdemeanor convictions for violation of defense property security regulations and possession of false identification for his conduct in impersonating a United States Navy Seal. On Aug. 5, 2016, his supervision was transferred to the Eastern District of North Carolina.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Peggah B. Wilson handled the prosecution of the case for the government.


Humans of Greenville


Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Crime and Rescue

May 27, 2018

A 46 year-old man was charged with driving while impaired after he failed to maintain lane several times and stopped in the middle of an intersection while the light was green, according to a weekly review of Pitt County court records.

Isidro Crespo Morales, 46, of 116 Laughinghouse Drive, changed…


May 26, 2018

A person was found dead Saturday after a fire near the Pitt County Fairgrounds, the Pitt County Sheriff's Office confirmed.

Lt. Kip Gaskin said the body was discovered about 2:30 p.m. as firefighter responded to a fire at an outbuilding on Reggie Court. The building was located behind an abandoned…

May 26, 2018

A Greenville man reported more than $4,000 in firearms and silver coins stolen from his home.

The residential theft took place in the 1000 block of Porter Road about 2:55 p.m. on Tuesday according to a Pitt County Sheriff’s Office incident report.

The report indicated that six shotguns valued…

May 26, 2018

Greenville Fire-Rescue responded to more than 356 fire and EMS calls from May 17-23. Following is a breakdown:


May 17

■ Midnight — assist invalid at 3919 Sterling Pointe Drive. Cleared midnight.

■ 7:41 a.m. — unintentional alarm system activation at 2100 Stantonsburg Road.…

May 24, 2018

The body of a Tarboro man was found in the aftermath of a house fire that authorities have determined he intentionally set.

According to a news release from the Edgecombe County Sheriff’s Office, Grady Jeffery Leary’s remains were found inside his home at 368 Cotton Lane just outside of…

May 24, 2018

A 20-year-old Camden County woman was sentenced to 25 to 31 years in prison Tuesday after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in the 2016 stabbing death of a Camden teenager in Elizabeth City.

Morgan Lynn Mcdonald.JPG

May 24, 2018

ELIZABETH CITY — Elizabeth City police said a convicted sex offender shot himself at a local motel on Tuesday evening minutes after officers tried to take him into custody for fleeing the custody of state probation officials.

Elijah Demetrius Humes, 23, shot himself at the Elizabeth City Days…

Days Inn lead photo.jpg

May 23, 2018

Greenville police officers returned to the 100 block of Fairlane Road on Wednesday to look for clues of where a Wilmington woman who went missing from the area on Friday might be, a police spokeswoman said.

Bonnie Gitto, 70, was last seen in the 100 block of Fairlane Road shortly after 2 p.m. on…


May 23, 2018

A group of men in a Jeep terrorized a group of teens in a Scion last week in what the Greenville Police Department described as a road-rage incident. 

The vehicles were traveling on East Fire Tower Road about 3:30 p.m. Thursday when the men in the Jeep Wrangle pulled alongside the Toyota Scion,…

May 21, 2018

Someone stole more than $20,000 cash along with other valuables from a home in the 800 block of Sutters Place Drive outside of Winterville on Sunday, according to a report filed with the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office.

The break-in occurred about 6 p.m. according to the incident report released…

293 stories in Crime and Rescue. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 30
        Next Page»   Last Page»