- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 7, 2016

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A convicted felon has been sentenced to prison after state police found he had a loaded firearm during a traffic stop in Rhode Island.

U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha says 31-year-old Brandon Hayes, of Central Falls, was sentenced Tuesday to 72 months behind bars followed by three years of probation. Hayes pleaded guilty in June to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Prosecutors say a trooper stopped a vehicle Hayes was riding in on July 12, 2015, for motor vehicle violations.

The trooper searched the vehicle after detecting the odor of marijuana and discovered a loaded semi-automatic handgun under the car’s front passenger seat. An investigation determined Hayes had stowed it there after removing it from his waistband.

Hayes was previously convicted on felony assault, drug and firearm charges.

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