A Columbia man pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Lorenzo Dwayne Kemp, 20, admitted to having one semi-automatic handgun and one revolver when he was apprehended by police in October, according to a news release from Timothy Garrison, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri.

On the morning of Oct. 25, 2017, Columbia police officers found Kemp in the driver's seat of a stolen vehicle, with another person in the passenger's seat. The 2003 Ford Expedition had been reported missing earlier that morning after the owner left it running and unlocked to warm it up for her commute, according to the release.

Kemp and the other passenger initially ran from the officers, who quickly caught up to them. While an officer was handcuffing Kemp after helping him up off the ground, he noticed a black bag that had been directly underneath Kemp. It contained the two firearms and 16 bags of marijuana, totaling about 28.75 grams.

Kemp had previously been convicted of a felony in state court for forgery, for which he was sentenced to four years in prison with a suspended execution of sentence and five years' probation two days before being arrested in this case.

Federal law prohibits anyone convicted of a felony from possessing firearms or ammunition. Violations can carry a potential sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison without parole. Kemp's sentencing for these charges will be determined at a hearing following the completion of a pre-sentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office, according to the release. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lawrence E. Miller and is being investigated by Columbia police and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

  • Formerly an assistant city editor & reporter on the public health and safety beat. Reach me at jaredhkaufman@gmail.com or on Twitter @Jaredography.

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