A man from Kansas City was sentenced to serve 20 years in federal prison for illegal gun and marijuana possession, the Justice Department announced Tuesday.
On Jan. 13, 2016, Michael Anthony Garrett, 32, was convicted by trial of being a felon in possession of a firearm, possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute, and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime.
The charges stemmed from a 2014 incident at a Kansas City Grand Slam gas station. According to an affidavit, around 1:30 a.m., an employee noticed a man – later identified as Garrett – who appeared to be asleep inside a minivan parked at one of the gas pumps. The employee alerted a Kansas City police officer, who was working security at the gas station, of the situation.
The officer then went to the vehicle and observed Garrett sleeping, while a second officer saw a handgun in plain view sitting atop a pile of clothes between the two front seats. A handgun holster was also observed on the floorboard of the front passenger seat. No one else was in the vehicle.
The officers repeatedly tried to wake Garrett but were initially unsuccessful. Due to safety concerns, the gun, a loaded Glock .45-caliber pistol, was immediately secured. An additional search of the vehicle turned up a digital scale and a mason jar containing individual baggies totaling 10.3 grams of marijuana.
Eventually, Garrett was awakened and although EMS was called to the scene to ensure the man was physically okay, Garrett refused a medical evaluation.
However, once Garrett was identified, a search of his name revealed that he was a convicted felon and therefore prohibited from possessing a firearm. Garrett, who was previously convicted of aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer and eluding a police officer, was then arrested for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
During an interview with a detective from the Kansas City Police Department’s Violent Crimes Administrative Squad, Garrett said he drove his “baby momma’s” vehicle to the gas station to meet up with some friends, but fell asleep. He denied any knowledge of the gun and, when asked about the marijuana, said he should consult with an attorney, thereby ending the interview.
While serving his 20-year sentence, Garrett will not be eligible for parole.