SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A West Plains man has been sentenced for illegally possessing a sawed-off shotgun which was found in one of the two vehicles he stole within a week of each other.

Michael Bryant, 33, was sentenced on Tuesday, June 28, to eight years in federal prison without parole. On November 18, 2021, Bryant pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

A Howell County sheriff’s deputy located a stolen Mazda Miata in a trailer park located on County Road 6540 on Oct. 23, 2019. As the deputy was about to search the trailer he heard a glass break and saw Bryant jump out of the back window of the trailer. The deputy began to chase after him but injured his leg and Bryant was able to escape.

Another deputy arrived and searched the stolen vehicle. The deputy found a loaded Harrington and Richardson 12-gauge sawed-off shotgun wedged between the driver’s side door and seat.

On Oct. 28, 2019, an individual called the Howell County Sheriff’s Department to report that a vehicle was stuck on a rock near the driveway of her rental property. Deputies arrived at the location and found an extensively damaged Chevrolet Silverado stuck on some rocks. The truck’s license plate was registered to another vehicle. Deputies learned that Bryant who had a number of outstanding arrest warrants had been operating the truck earlier in the day.

The deputies knocked on the door of a nearby residence. They were told that Bryant was no longer there, but refused permission to enter the residence to search for him. While the investigators began preparing a warrant to search the home, Bryant came out of the residence and was taken into custody.

It is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Bryant also has prior felony convictions for tampering with a motor vehicle, stealing, resisting arrest, and possession of a controlled substance.