WILMINGTON — A Wilmington man received four and a half years in prison on Tuesday for felon in possession of a firearm.
Michael Bridges, 27, pled guilty to the charge in federal court in October. Bridges was a named defendant in the 2018 New Hanover County Permanent Injunction declaring the Folk Nation 720 Gangster Disciple street gang a public nuisance in New Hanover County.
The Wilmington Police Department stopped a vehicle Bridges was a passenger in on July 28, 2020. During a search of the vehicle, officers located a Glock 45 with a 24-round magazine in a cupholder, a .380 pistol in the other cupholder, and a stolen Sig Sauer rifle in the backseat with Bridges. He was arrested and charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and was released on bond on the next day.
Court documents show Bridges was stopped three more times by WPD before his trial last fall.
In March 2021, while out on bond for the July 28, 2020 arrest, the WPD conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle Bridges was driving. After Bridges told officer he had marijuana on his person, officers conducted a search and located a Smith and Wesson .357 Magnum pistol in his pocket. He was again arrested and charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and again released on bond.
Then in August, WPD officers found out Bridges had an outstanding warrant for his arrest and conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle to serve him with the process. When Bridges stepped out of the vehicle, a 9mm live round of ammunition fell from his lap and, in a subsequent search of the vehicle, officers located a stolen 9mm Taurus G2 pistol. Bridges arrested and charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and was released on bond.
In March 2022, the WPD received a call from a store clerk regarding a firearm that was found in the parking lot of the business. When officers arrived, they located a Smith and Wesson handgun with a high-capacity magazine in the parking lot. Subsequent testing of the firearm revealed the presence of Mr. Bridges DNA on the firearm.
The following August, Bridges was arrested on federal charges and was ordered to be detained pending the resolution of his case. During sentencing, the court found Bridges, a convicted felon, responsible for possessing at leave five firearms and ammunition between July 28, 2020, and March 23, 2022.
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