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4-time felon sentenced to prison for possession of firearms cache

Tribune Staff • Jan 7, 2017 at 7:00 AM

GRAND RAPIDS — U.S. Attorney Patrick Miles announced Friday that 43-year-old Khamdeng Sam Phanthourath of Holland has been sentenced to 68 months in prison, following his conviction for possessing firearms and ammunition as a felon.

Phanthourath also received a $1,500 fine. A three- year term of supervised release will follow Phanthourath’s prison term.

The U.S. attorney brought charges against Phanthourath after the West Michigan Enforcement Team (WEMET) executed a search warrant at his home on June 15, 2016. At the sentencing hearing before Chief U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker in Grand Rapids, the U.S. Attorney’s Office introduced evidence that investigating officers found 26 firearms, muzzle loader guns, thousands of rounds of ammunition, a homemade silencer, body armor, marijuana, more than 800 pills (including narcotics, suboxone and methylphenidate), more than $9,000 cash, and a police scanner set to the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department frequency.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) determined that at least one of the firearms was stolen.

Phanthourath had previously been convicted of, among other things, breaking and entering a building with intent and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office is dedicated to the mission of keeping firearms out of the hands of dangerous felons and drug dealers,” said U.S. Attorney Patrick Miles. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office and ATF work closely with local law enforcement to investigate, identify, and prosecute individuals who pose a threat to our community.”

The case was investigated by WEMET and ATF. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sally Berens prosecuted the case.

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