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      Columbia convicted felon going to federal prison for illegal firearm

      A Columbia man was sentenced in federal court Wednesday for illegally possessing a firearm.

      A Columbia man was sentenced in federal court Wednesday for illegally possessing a firearm.

      James Cheek of Columbia was sentenced to five years and three months in federal prison without parole.

      The 31-year-old pleaded guilty on Oct. 4, 2012, to being a felon in possession of a firearm (an FEG .45-caliber pistol) on March 13, 2012.Officers found Cheek, apparently asleep, sitting in the driver??s seat of a reported suspicious vehicle. The car was parked partially in a convenience store??s parking lot and partially in a yard.

      Cheek was arrested on outstanding warrants and officers found the loaded pistol on the driver??s side floor board.

      Federal law makes it illegal for anyone who convicted of a felony to possess any firearm or ammunition. Cheek has prior felony convictions for assault, unlawful use of a weapon and leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident.