BOISE -- A 34-year-old Emmett man who authorities have dubbed a career criminal has been sentenced to 15 years in prison after police found a handgun and ammunition in his bedroom in January of 2011.

Joshua Allen Ward, 34, of Emmett, Idaho, was sentenced Tuesday to 15 years (180 months) in prison followed by five years of supervised release for unlawful possession of a firearm.

Ward was found guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm on August 7, 2012, after a court trial.

Authorities say Ward was sentenced under the federal Armed Career Criminal Act.

Under federal statutes, the 15 year sentence was a mandatory minimum sentencing, said Rafael Gonzalez, First Assistant United States Attorney.

According to court documents, Ward had just been released on parole after serving three years in prison for aggravated assault when officers found the handgun during a search of his home stemming from a probation violation.

Police say Ward later admitted to knowingly possessing the firearm in violation of the law.

As part of his punishment, U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge also ordered Ward to forfeit the firearm.

The case was investigated by the Treasure Valley Metro Violent Crimes Task Force and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

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