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Minneapolis, MN (KROC-AM News) - A Rochester man has been given a lengthy prison sentence for illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

A statement issued today by the US Attorney for Minnesota says 38-year-old Charles Antonio Gayles was sentenced Tuesday to 15 years in federal prison. He has a long criminal record in Olmsted County that includes multiple felony drug offenses, along with convictions for both first and second-degree aggravated robbery that also resulted in prison sentences.

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office is focusing our efforts on taking armed criminals off the streets, in the Twin Cities and in greater Minnesota, said United States Attorney Erica MacDonald. “Mr. Gayles’s long and violent criminal history in Olmsted County warranted this significant sentence and I applaud our federal and local law enforcement partners for their work in bringing him to justice.”

Gayles pleaded guilty to the federal charge in November. According to court records, he was arrested following a police chase in Rochester in May of last year. It began when a Rochester police officer pulled over a vehicle for unlawful window tint and spotted a baggie containing a small amount of marijuana the center console when he approached the car. The arrest report indicated Gayles handed the bag to the officer but then sped away.

Gayles crashed the car a short distance away and then fled on foot, but was caught a few blocks away after he was found hiding inside a trash can. Court records state the passengers in the car told police they saw Gayles grab a gun from under the driver's seat before he jumped out of the car and another officer saw him toss the weapon into a nearby bush, where police later recovered a loaded 9-millimeter semi-automatic pistol.

A search of the vehicle led to the seizure of just under an ounce of marijuana. Police also found two loaded 9-millimeter handgun magazines and a large 32-round magazine.

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