Firearms charges net Grandview man 16-plus years in prison

YAKIMA - Three months after striking a plea deal, Charles Thomas Wilmer Weems of Grandview will spend 16-and-a-half years in federal prison on three counts related to firearms.

That's according to information from U.S. District Court in Yakima, which confirmed yesterday's sentence.

In October 2012, Weems plead guilty in U.S. District Court to charges of possessing an unregistered firearm, possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and felon in possession of a firearm.

At the time the plea agreement was reached, prosecutors had sought a 16-and-a-half year sentence for Weems. In handing down yesterday's sentence, the federal court agreed. Further, the court ordered five years of supervised release when his prison term ends

The plea and sentencing stems from a March 1, 2007 incident when two Sunnyside police officers attempted to pull Weems over on I-82 for suspicion of driving under the influence.

Sunnyside officers then followed Weems into town, where they attempted to pull him over, according to court documents.

After recovering his keys and unlocking his vehicle, Sunnyside police reported finding marijuana, cocaine and a sub-machine gun in Weems' vehicle.

The case took more than five years to come to conclusion, in part, because of a successful legal appeal in district court by Weems.

The appeal was based on his contention that Sunnyside officers conducted an unconstitutional search of the vehicle.

A federal court overturned Weems' appeal in 2011.


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