Chief U.S. District Judge Martin Reidinger sentenced Michael James George, 46, of Whittier, on Thursday, May 27 to 30 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release for a firearm offense, announced William T. Stetzer, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.
According to filed court documents and Thursday’s sentencing hearing, on Jan. 17, 2020, a Cherokee Indian Police Dept. (CIPD) officer arrested George in Jackson County on an outstanding tribal warrant, after the officer observed George driving in a vehicle with false tags. At the time of the arrest, the CIPD officer searched the vehicle and recovered a pistol in the floorboard under the driver’s seat and 19 rounds of ammunition. George has a prior felony conviction and is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition. On Oct. 23, 2020, George pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a felon.
In making Thursday’s announcement, Acting U.S. Attorney Stetzer thanked the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Cherokee Indian Police Department for their investigation of the case. Assistant United States Attorney John Pritchard, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Asheville, prosecuted the case.
– U.S. Dept. of Justice release