Union City Resident Sentenced to Over 11 Years in Federal Prison for Illegally Possessing a Firearm
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Tennessee
Jackson, TN- Hunter Brett Wherry, 26, of Union City, Tennessee, has been sentenced to 140 months in federal prison for being a convicted felon-in-possession of a firearm. Joseph C. Murphy, Jr., United States Attorney, announced the sentence today.
According to information presented in court, on February 27, 2021, an officer with the Weakley County Sheriff’s Department responded to a report of a residential burglary in Sharon, Tennessee. Upon arrival, the officer spoke with the homeowner, Billy Finney, who reported that his home had been burglarized and several items were missing. Witnesses observed a maroon Nissan Altima with two subjects at the home between 10:00 and 11:00 a.m. that day with the trunk open. Mr. Finney later provided law enforcement with a list of 11 firearms that were stolen from his home during the burglary.
On March 3, 2021, officers with the Obion County Sheriff’s Department conducted a traffic stop on a male subject and recovered an AR-15 rifle that matched the description of one of the firearms stolen from Mr. Finney’s residence. Photos of the firearm were shown to Mr. Finney, and he confirmed that the firearm was the AR-15 Bump Stock, Red Dot Sight that he reported stolen. Officers then interviewed the male subject, and he said the defendant, Hunter Brett Wherry, gave him the AR-15 "to hold onto." The male subject also said Wherry had given him additional firearms that were now at his residence in Trenton, Tennessee. After receiving permission to search and recover the firearms from the male subject's residence, officers recovered three additional firearms that were reported stolen from Mr. Finney’s residence.
The male subject agreed to work with the officers to recover additional firearms from Wherry. He made a recorded phone call to Wherry and told Wherry that he had a buyer for the remaining guns. Wherry told the male subject to meet him at an address on Vine Street in Union City, Tennessee. An undercover Union City police officer and the male subject then met with Wherry at the designated area. Wherry instructed the undercover officer and the male subject to follow him to a residence in Union City, where the firearms were located. Once there, the pair purchased several firearms from Wherry, including a High Standard Sentinel .22-caliber revolver. During the purchase, one officer left to obtain a search warrant for the residence and vehicles on the property, while the rest continued surveillance of the residence. Before the officer could return with the warrant, Wherry and two other individuals left the residence in a brown Cadillac.
A traffic stop was then conducted on the vehicle. When officers approached the vehicle, they observed Wherry in the right rear passenger seat leaning forward as if he was placing something under the seat. Wherry was ultimately removed from the vehicle, and a search of his person revealed a black fanny pack containing 22 grams of methamphetamine, 21 grams of marijuana, 3 syringes (one was filled with an undisclosed substance), and digital scales. Officers also located a Galesi Brescia .32-caliber ACP pistol (serial no 202520) under the seat where Wherry had been seen reaching.
Officers returned with the search warrant and executed it at the Washington Street residence. A search of the Cadillac and the residence, along with the firearms collected from the male subject that assisted the officers in this investigation resulted in the seizure of the following firearms, many of which were stolen during the burglary of Mr. Finney's home:
• Browning 22 Take-Down, .22 caliber long rifle.
• Stevens 311 Double Barrel shotgun.
• W&C Scott and Sons 12-gauge double barrel shotgun.
• High Standard Sentinel, .22-caliber revolver (serial no. 1468971).
• Galesi Brescia .32-caliber ACP pistol (serial no 202520).
• AR-15 Bump Stock, Red Dot Sight, serial # unknown.
• Remington 12-gauge, 870 Express Wood Sock, serial # unknown.
• Remington 12-gauge Shotgun, serial # unknown.
• Savage Model 308, serial # unknown.
• Savage Model 7 Mag Nightcon Scope, serial # unknown.
• Remington 30-06, Simmons Scope Wood Stock, serial # unknown.
• .22 Auto black synthetic stock, serial # unknown.
Wherry waived his Miranda rights and admitted to breaking into Mr. Finney's residence with his girlfriend and stealing several items. After the couple left the residence, they discovered they had stolen a key to a firearm’s safe. They decided to return to the residence and steal the firearms from the safe. Wherry further admitted that he had asked the male subject who assisted the police to help him sell the four firearms that the officers had recovered from the male subject's home earlier that day.
Wherry pled guilty to two counts of being a convicted felon-in-possession of a firearm on December 17, 2021.
This case was investigated by the Weakley County Sheriff’s Office, Obion County Sheriff’s Office, Union City Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
On April 15, 2022, United States Chief Judge S. Thomas Anderson sentenced Wherry to 140 months' imprisonment, to be followed by two years of supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.
Assistant United States Attorney Josh Morrow prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.
Updated April 21, 2022