First on News 3: Career criminal gets 22 years on federal drug, weapons charges

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A 35-year-old career criminal was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison in Columbus Tuesday morning on drug possession and gun charges.

Clint Edward Walker pleaded guilty in September in U.S. District Court to possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Judge Clay Land sentenced Walker to 22 years for the drug charge and 10 years on the firearms charge with the additional time to be served concurrently.

Walker was arrested on Dec. 19, 2017 when Columbus police observed he was not wearing a seatbelt while driving on Hamilton Road. Police later discovered that the tag was registered to another vehicle. Walker was pulled over at a gas station in the 3400 block of Veterans Parkway, according to court records.

Police found a 9 mm semiautomatic weapon between the driver’s seat and the console. Methamphetamine was found in the console and two additional bags were found on the vehicle’s floorboard, court records show. There were more than 111 grams of methamphetamine discovered in Walker’s vehicle and it tested more than 77 percent pure, according to court records.

The case was transferred from the Muscogee County Superior Court into Federal Court.

Walker was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Crawford Seals. Walker had two previous Superior Court convictions in Muscogee County, a 2005 robbery charge, and a 2014 possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute.

Because of those two charges, Walker was classified a career offender and Land sentenced him under those guidelines. Walker also had more than two dozen arrests.

The fact that his case was moved into federal court added additional time to Walker’s sentence, said his defense attorney Jennifer Curry.

“The fact that he was a career offender caused the points to add up and that’s what hurt him,” Curry said.

Curry said Walker would have gotten less time to serve in the state courts.

“When you get into the federal courts, the game changes,” Curry said. “.. He had a job and he was working at the time of his arrest. But he was in a car with a gun and you don’t have much of a defense for that.”

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