A Rochester man described by federal prosecutors as an "armed career criminal" was sentenced Tuesday to 15 years in federal prison for illegally possessing a firearm.
Charles Antonio Gayles, 38, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis by Judge Michael Davis to 180 months in prison.
Gayles pleaded guilty on Nov. 20, 2019, to one count of felon in possession of a firearm-armed career criminal, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
He was arrested on May 7, 2019, following a traffic stop by the Rochester Police Department. Gayles was stopped for expired registration and unlawful tint.
An officer who approached the black Audi A6 Gayles smelled marijuana and saw a sandwich bag of marijuana in the vehicle. Gayles gave the officer the bag, which weighed just over 8 grams, then sped off before crashing a short time later.
Gayles ran. Two passengers in the vehicle told the officer that Gayles pulled out a black handgun from under the driver’s seat before running away. Another officer saw Gayles toss a black firearm into a nearby bush. Police found a loaded Sig Sauer, model P320, 9 mm semiautomatic pistol.
Police located Gayles hiding a few blocks away inside a trash can. During a search of the vehicle, police found two loaded 9 mm handgun magazines, one a large-capacity 32-round magazine, and a Sig Sauer 9 mm holster.