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Press Release

Cherokee, N.C. Man Is Sentenced To More Than Seven Years For Possession Of A Firearm While On Federal Probation

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of North Carolina

ASHEVILLE, N.C.Chief U.S. District Judge Martin Reidinger today sentenced Tanner Moren Eagle Larch, 30, of Cherokee, N.C., to 92 months in prison and three years of supervised release for a firearms offense, announced Andrew Murray, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

Vincent C. Pallozzi, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in North Carolina, and Sheriff Chip Hall of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office join U.S. Attorney Murray in making today’s announcement.

On April 4, 2013, Larch was sentenced to six and a half years in prison and three years of supervised release for a federal robbery conviction.  According to filed court documents and today’s sentencing hearing, on September 14, 2018, while Larch was still on federal probation, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office was informed that an arrest warrant for Larch had been issued for a violation of the terms of his supervised release. Court records show that Larch had been seen on the campus of Smoky Mountain High School leaving the football stadium on the same day. Law enforcement located and attempted to arrest Larch, who dropped a firearm he possessed and fled on foot. After he fled the scene, Larch, holding a second firearm behind his back, approached five young males standing outside of a car in the parking lot behind the high school’s gymnasium. Following a brief tussle, one of the young men wrestled the firearm out of Larch’s hands, and Larch fled the scene again. Shortly thereafter, Larch was apprehended by law enforcement.

On January 7, 2020, a federal jury convicted Larch of two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon. Larch is currently in federal custody and will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.

In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney Murray commended the ATF and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office for their investigation of this case.  He also thanked District Attorney Ashley Welch for her office’s coordination over the course of the prosecution of this case.

Special Assistant United States Attorney (SAUSA) Alexis Solheim prosecuted the case.  Ms. Solheim is a state prosecutor with the office of the 30th Prosecutorial District, and was assigned by District Attorney Ashley Welch to serve as SAUSA with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Asheville.  Ms. Solheim is duly sworn in both state and federal courts.  The SAUSA position is a reflection of the partnership between the office of the 30th Prosecutorial District and the United States Attorney’s Office.  The SAUSA position helps ensure the effective and vigorous prosecution of federal court cases that impact the counties within the 30th Prosecutorial District. 

Updated June 25, 2020

Firearms Offenses