Wednesday, July 25, 2007

‘Career criminal’ gets 15 years in prison

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A Germantown man described as an ‘‘armed career criminal” was sentenced to 15 years in prison by a federal judge on Friday for being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to a statement from the U.S. District Court in Greenbelt.

Kenneth Lee Gardner, 26, of the 12000 block of Falling Water Circle in Germantown, was also given three years of supervised release by U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, according to the statement.

Montgomery County Police arrested Gardner on Crystal Rock Drive in Germantown in March 2006. An officer stopped his Chevrolet Blazer after observing a flash of light and hearing a small pop come from the vehicle, according to the statement. A Taurus 9 mm handgun and ammunition and a Beretta .22-caliber pistol were found in the vehicle near where Gardner had been sitting, and about 41 grams of crack cocaine was also seized, according to the statement.

Previous convictions for a serious drug offense and violent felonies were factored into the sentence, which was reached in a plea agreement, according to the statement.