Monday, May 17, 2010
Department of Justice
United States Attorney James R. Dedrick Eastern District of Tennessee
COCKE COUNTY ARMED CAREER CRIMINAL SENTENCED TO OVER 27 YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON
Project Safe Neighborhoods
GREENEVILLE, Tenn-- Edward Lee Thompson of Newport, Tennessee, was sentenced in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Greeneville, to 327 months in prison. The sentence was the result of Thompson’s conviction by a federal jury on December 2, 2009, of being a convicted felon in possession of firearms, with an enhanced penalty for being an Armed Career Criminal.
On September 1, 2008, officers with the Cocke County Sheriff's Department and the constable responded to a motor vehicle accident report on Lower Bogard Road in Cocke County, Tennessee. After finding the vehicle abandoned, the officers searched the area where they found Thompson nearby holding a Weatherby, model Vanguard, VGL .243 caliber, bolt action rifle. A shotgun was found in the Thompson vehicle and another firearm was found near the vehicle. The investigation determined that all three firearms were stolen during a burglary a short distance from where the vehicle was abandoned by Thompson. At the time of his arrest, Thompson was on parole for aggravated kidnaping and attempted second degree murder. Thompson has numerous felony and misdemeanor convictions going back to 1977.
The Honorable Ronnie Greer, United States District Judge, determined during sentencing that Thompson was an "Armed Career Criminal" under federal law, which led to the enhanced, non-parolable sentence. Judge Greer noted in sentencing Thompson that "almost all of the offenses you have committed since age 14 have endangered the public and the police." Judge Greer noted that a sentence at the top of the guideline range is "the only way to protect the public".
The indictment and subsequent conviction of Edward Lee Thompson was the result of an investigation conducted by the Cocke County Sheriff's Department, Constable Mike Shropshire, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert M. Reeves represented the United States.