man gets five years in prison for firearm plea

A man who pleaded guilty before  the start of his trial was given five years in  prison Monday.

A jury deliberated for less than an hour before sentencing Bobby Joe Gonzales, 28, and fining him $2,000.

The Levelland man could have been sentenced to a maximum of 10 years for the third-degree offense.

He entered a guilty plea Monday morning to unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon when the charge against him was read in court.

Gonzales was stopped by a patrol officer the afternoon of March 26 on West Avenue for not wearing a seat belt.

Officer Mateo Lopez testified Monday that Gonzales made furtive movements when he pulled him over that day.

‘That’s consistent with someone trying to conceal a weapon or contraband,’ Lopez said.

After being stopped, Gonzales told the lawman there was a handgun in the 1999 Isuzu Rodeo that he was driving.

Lopez said he knew that Gonzales was a convicted felon and he radioed for assistance. Other officers arrived and the vehicle was searched.

Officers found a 9mm handgun in the vehicle. They also seized scales,  plastic baggies and a small amount of methamphetamine from the center console. A pipe with  meth residue was found in the purse of a woman passenger who was with Gonzales at the time.

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