See how a traffic violation escalated to a federal prison sentence for an Orange man

Published 4:44 pm Thursday, March 23, 2023

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A local man was stopped in late 2021 for a traffic violation by Orange Police.

His previous criminal history, the smell of marijuana and a weapon ended up escalating the criminal response, which culminated this week with a federal prison sentence.

U.S. District Judge Marcia A. Crone sentenced 35-year-old Michael Lawrence Geral Jr. on Thursday to four years and two months for a firearms violation.

U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston said the Orange man pleaded guilty Oct. 4, 2022 to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

According to information presented in court, Geral was stopped Dec. 13, 2021, for a traffic violation by Orange Police Department officers.

As officers spoke with Geral, they smelled burnt marijuana coming from the vehicle.

Officers searched the vehicle and found a firearm Geral admitted was his.

Geral is a previously convicted felon and prohibited from possessing firearms.

This case was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Orange Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell James.