A Martin County man was sentenced in federal court in Raleigh to more than 17 years behind bars on a firearms charge.
Desmond Smith, age 23 of Williamston, was also sentenced to five years of supervised release following his prison term.
In September 2008, Smith pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Williamston police were notified in December 2007 that Smith, a convicted felon, had a gun. Police conducted a traffic stop and found a stolen, loaded 9 milimeter semi-automatic handgun with ammunition in Smith's vehicle.
Officials say Smith's previous convictions include possessions of stolen property, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, several counts of breaking and entering, injury to real property, larceny, assault on a female, and two counts of possession of a stolen firearm.
U.S. Attorney George E.B. Holding said "the sentence in this case should be a stark reminder to convicted felons – if you’re armed, the penalty will be heavy.”