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Press Release

Dallas County Man Sentenced to 24 Months for Possession of a Firearm After Conviction of a Felony

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Alabama

United States Attorney Richard W. Moore of the Southern District of Alabama announced that James Thomas, a 28 year old resident of Selma, Alabama was sentenced to 24 months of incarceration for possession of a CZ, .40 caliber pistol.

On April 19, 2019, Thomas pled guilty pursuant to a plea agreement and admitted in open court that on December 19, 2019, a Selma, Alabama police officer conducted a traffic stop of a Nissan Altima being driven by Thomas that had no tag displayed.  As the officer approached the vehicle, he could smell marijuana coming from the car and could see passengers inside the vehicle with Thomas.  The officer asked for and received Thomas’s driver’s license. Thomas said that he had just purchased the vehicle and did not have insurance.  The officer returned to his vehicle to run a check on Thomas’ license and to wait for the additional officers he radioed for after he smelled marijuana.  When the additional officers arrived, the original officer asked Thomas to exit his vehicle and he did.  The officer next asked Thomas if there were any weapons inside the vehicle.  Thomas responded saying that there were no weapons inside the vehicle and gave verbal consent to search it.  During the search, police found a large cookie jar containing marijuana. Officers also found a CZ, model CZ75B, .40 caliber pistol under the front seat.   Thomas knowingly possessed the firearm.  An additional quantity of marijuana was seized from a passenger’s sock.    

At the time of the traffic stop, Thomas has been previously convicted of a felony, namely, Manslaughter, on July 26, 2013, in the Circuit Court of Dallas County, Alabama, case number CC-2012-000029.  Because of this felony conviction, Thomas was prohibited from possessing a firearm.  As part of his plea, Thomas forfeited any and all interest in the CZ, model CZ75B, .40 caliber pistol. He also forfeited any and all interest in a Taurus, model PT-25, .25 caliber pistol, seized from the vehicle he was driving on January 19, 2019.

Officers of the Selma, AL Police Department, deputies of the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office and special agents of the ATF investigated the case and brought it to the U. S. Attorney's Office for prosecution.  The prosecutor assigned to the case is Assistant United States Attorney, Gina S. Vann.

Updated August 2, 2019