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Stolen gun hidden beneath mattress brings young felon more than 5 years in prison

Michael Kim Le wasn’t supposed to have a firearm due to prior convictions, but police found a stolen gun under his mattress during a search at his Kentwood home.
Credit: Kent County Jail
A federal judge sentenced Michael Kim Le, 19, to 64 months in prison for possession of a stolen firearm.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A Kentwood man who’s been in trouble for armed robbery and drug dealing is heading to federal prison for a stolen handgun that was found beneath his mattress.

A federal judge recently sentenced 19-year-old Michael Kim Le to more than five years for possession of a stolen firearm. Le also has to pay a $1,500 fine.

“I know that he wishes that he had kept his nose clean last summer,’’ defense attorney Ryan Maesen wrote in a sentencing memorandum.

He attributes Le’s criminal behavior to drug abuse and associating with the wrong crowd.

“Associating with individuals who are involved in possible gang activity and numerous criminal activities has put him at high risk of breaking the law, and he has done so,’’ Maeson wrote.

RELATED: Repeat felon shot in Grand Rapids faces prison for third gun offense

At the time of his September arrest, Le was on parole for robbery.  He still faces sentencing next month in a Grand Rapids courtroom for car theft. Whatever sentence he receives in that case will run concurrent with the gun conviction.

The handgun found beneath Le's mattress was stolen during a July 14 break-in at Long Range Archery and Firearms in Ottawa County’s Holland Township. Police say they believe four people were involved in the break-in.

The .38-caliber revolver was found when police and a parole officer went to Le’s home on Champion Avenue SE for an unannounced compliance check. They wanted to question him about a stolen car complaint in Wyoming several days earlier.

Le ran off. When investigators searched the Kentwood home, they recovered the gun and 11 rounds of ammunition.

He was charged in federal court with felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition as well as possession of a stolen firearm. Le's prior felonies include an unarmed robbery conviction in 2018. 

RELATED: 'Several firearms' stolen from Holland gun shop

Le was also charged separately in state court for stealing a 2018 Nissan, which was left running at a gas station at the corner of Burton Street and Clyde Park Avenue SW in Wyoming.

He was on parole at the time for a drug offense and a robbery conviction in Kent County.

The drug case involved cocaine. In the robbery case, police say Le took a cell phone, belt and wallet while armed with a gun. It happened on 43rd Street SE in April of 2018.

Le pleaded guilty to unarmed robbery; the judge recommended a state boot camp program. He was released on parole in late May of 2019. Just 3½ months later, Le was back in the Kent County Jail.

“As it turns out, old habits are hard to break, particularly for a young man craving excitement and a chemical high,’’ Maeson wrote in the sentencing memorandum. “He quickly began associating with other young men who apparently had little ambition to be model citizens.’’

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