Convicted felon heading back to prison

Convicted felon heading back to prison
Vincente Manuel Ruiz, 37, of Modesto, California, was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin. (Photo source: WDAM archive)

JEFFERSON DAVIS COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - A convicted felon is heading back to prison after pleading guilty to illegally possessing a firearm in Mississippi.

U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst said 45-year-old Joe Lamont Gholar, of Jefferson Davis County, pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in federal court Thursday.

Hurst said Gholar, who was previously convicted of felony possession with intent to distribute cocaine in Texas, was arrested June 9, 2017 after authorities executed a search warrant at his home in Jefferson Davis County.

Hurst said the home Gholar shared with two others was raided by the Drug Enforcement Administration Hattiesburg High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area team.

Inside Gholar's room, agents found 35 rounds of .380 ammunition, Hurst said. Agents reportedly found a .380 pistol in his vehicle and also recovered a shotgun and rifle from the property.

Agents said the firearms belonged to Gholar. Hurst said Gholar admitted he knew it was not legal for him to possess guns.

Gholar is set to be sentenced April 17. He's facing up to 10 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.