ASHEVILLE – Anthony Keith Welch, 29, of Cherokee, was sentenced on Thursday, Oct. 16 to 51 months in prison, announced Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. U.S. District Judge Martin Reidinger also ordered Welch to serve two years of supervised release.
According to court records, in April 2013, Welch possessed a 9mm pistol which he hid in the rafters of the parking garage at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino. The firearm was retrieved by law enforcement officers. Court records indicate that Welch has a prior conviction of attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon in Swain County in 2009, and he is prohibited from carrying a firearm.
Welch pleaded guilty in September 2013 to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Cherokee Indian Police Department. The prosecution for the government was handled by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Smith of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Asheville.
– Department of Justice