A South Carolina man will spend nearly six years in prison for a firearms-related crime after being sentenced in federal court on Wednesday.

Christopher Ray Edwards heard the five-year, 10-month sentence from Chief U.S. District Court Judge Scott Skavhdahl.

On June 4, 2022, a Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper pulled over Rock Hill, South Carolina, resident Edwards on Interstate 80 in Albany County for suspicion of driving while under the influence, according to an email from Lori Hogan, spokeswoman for the Wyoming U.S. Attorney's Office.

Edwards admitted to smoking marijuana earlier in the day.

Troopers searched his vehicle and found a homemade AR-15 style rifle and rounds of various ammunition.

A criminal history search revealed that Edwards had several prior felony convictions and was presently under indictment in South Carolina for another felony.

Edwards was charged with three crimes, according to the indictment and a later criminal information document:

  • Felon in possession of ammunition. He knowingly possessed 9mm and assorted .223-caliber ammunition.
  • Possession of a firearm not registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. He possessed a rifle with a barrel length of less than 16 inches.
  • Receiving ammunition while under felony indictment. He knowingly received 9mm and assorted .223-caliber ammunition, which had previously traveled in and affected interstate commerce.

As part of Edwards' plea agreement in October, he pleaded guilty to the receiving ammunition count, and in exchange the prosecution agreed to dismiss the other two counts.

He will serve his sentence concurrently -- at the same time -- to any state sentences imposed in three cases in York County, South Carolina, according to the judgment.

Skavdahl recommended that he be placed in a prison in northern South Carolina to be near his mother and children.

"The Court also strongly and emphatically recommends the defendant participate in the Residential Treatment Program," Skavdahl wrote.

After Edwards' release from custody, he will be on supervised probation for three years.

This crime was investigated by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Wyoming Highway Patrol.

Assistant United States Attorney Timothy J. Forwood prosecuted the case.

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