Ricky Dale Niswonger, Jr., 32, of Galesburg, was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years – followed by three years of supervised release – for possession of a firearm by a felon.

According to court documents, law enforcement agents executed a search warrant on Niswonger’s car as part of an investigation into a suspected methamphetamine-trafficking operation. In the car, they found five firearms, ammunition, and a bulletproof vest, a news release says.

At the sentencing hearing, Chief U.S. District Judge Sara Darrow found that Niswonger possessed the firearms in connection with methamphetamine trafficking. Darrow also found Niswonger had attempted to intimidate a possible witness in his case, which warranted a sentencing enhancement for obstruction of justice, the release says.

Niswonger had pleaded guilty to the offense in April 2021. The statutory penalties for felon in possession of a firearm are a maximum of 10 years’ imprisonment and three years’ supervised release.

The Galesburg Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jennifer Mathew and Grant Thomas Hodges represented the government in the prosecution, the release says.