PORTLAND — A felon from Lewiston was sentenced in federal court Wednesday to eight years in prison for having a gun.

Tony “Tom Cat” Leonard, 49, pleaded guilty in November to being a felon in possession of a firearm. He faced up to 10 years in prison.

U.S. District Court Judge George Z. Singal also sentenced Leonard to three years of supervised release after he serves his prison time.

Leonard was arrested Aug. 17, 2017, after Lewiston police searched his home and seized a Glock .40-caliber handgun and a loaded magazine concealed inside a jacket in his bedroom.

He was prohibited from possessing the handgun because of prior convictions for drug trafficking, forgery and aggravated assault, according to court records.

The case was investigated by the Lewiston Police Department, assisted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Leonard was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.

Project Safe Neighborhoods is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Through the program, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, the program focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and re-entry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

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