Special to Iredell Free News

CHARLOTTE – A Statesville man was sentenced to more than 15 years in prison on Tuesday after being convicted of federal firearms offenses.

Phong Duc Nguyen, 35, was sentenced to 182 months in prison and five years of supervised release, Acting U.S. Attorney William T. Stetzer announced in a news release.

According to court documents and evidence presented during Tuesday’s sentencing hearing, in the early hours of November 25, 2019, an officer with the Monroe Police Department conducted a traffic stop of the vehicle Nguyen was driving. Over the course of the traffic stop, the officer determined that Nguyen’s license was suspended and that there were multiple outstanding warrants for his arrest.

While placing Nguyen under arrest, the officer located a firearm holster and ammunition in Nguyen’s pants pocket. Court records show that when the officer searched Nguyen’s vehicle, he located a firearm on the right side of the driver’s seat, and found marijuana and crack cocaine elsewhere inside the vehicle.

On February 17, 2021, Nguyen pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

During Tuesday’s sentencing hearing, a federal judge classified Nguyen as an “armed career criminal.”

Nguyen is currently in federal custody and will be transferred to custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.

In making the announcement, Stetzer thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Monroe Police Department for their investigation of the case.

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