Barling “Career Criminal” Sentenced To 15 Years For Gun Violation

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) – A Barling man labeled a “career criminal” was sentenced to 15 years in prison for being a felon and owning a firearm, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas Conner Eldridge.

Michael G. Haney, 36, was sentenced to 180 months plus three years of supervised release for being a felon in possession of a firearm, the release states.

Judge Paul K. Holmes III presided over the sentencing.

U. S. Attorney Eldridge commented, “With today’s sentence, this armed career criminal has been taken off of our local streets.  Felons in possession of firearms have no place in our communities as they pose a serious threat of harm to our police officers and to citizens at large.  We will continue to work with local law enforcement to investigate and prosecute these cases, and hopefully prevent violence throughout the Western District of Arkansas.”

Court records state that on March 5, Fort Smith police got a tip that Haney, who had a pending felony warrant at the time, was in possession of a gun and drugs. He was staying at the Regency Motel at 1215 S. West St. in Fort Smith when police got the tip.

Officers watched the hotel and saw Haney leave his room and get into a vehicle with two other people. They later stopped the vehicle and had him get out of the car. During a search of the vehicle, officers found a loaded 9mm handgun with ten rounds of ammunition in the clip in the rear of the car, according to court documents.

Haney later confessed the firearm belonged to him, and he pleaded guilty to the charge of felon in possession of a firearm on June 5, court documents state.

During his sentencing, Haney was determined to be an armed career criminal due to having at least three felony convictions of either a crime of violence or a controlled substance offense, according to court documents.

Fort Smith Police Chief Kevin Lindsey said, “Firearms and felons are a bad mix in our community, and thanks to the diligence of our police officers and the excellent level of cooperation we enjoy with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, we were able to successfully remove another criminal and a firearm from our streets.”

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