KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Morristown man has been sentenced to nearly 20 years in prison on federal weapons charges.

Robert Lee Allen, 55, of Morristown pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a felon. A U.S. Department of Justice release said he had prior convictions for for Second Degree Murder, Aggravated Assault, Aggravated Robbery, and Aggravated Burglary.

Allen was accused of hitting his wife with a gun which led to a domestic assault arrest on Feb. 2022. The gun was found in a search of his vehicle. According to prosecutors, Allen admitted he’d traded another felon for it in exchange for meth and heroin.

“This sentence sends a powerful message to those with a violent, felony history who continue to arm themselves,” said United States Attorney Francis M. Hamilton III. “This case is part of the Department of Justice’s comprehensive strategy to target and prosecute the most serious offenders who pose the greatest threats to safety and peace within the community.”

“This was extremely great work done by the individuals that took part in this investigation. There is one less criminal off our streets. The ATF will continue to use all of our resources to disrupt the illegal possession of firearms, distribution of narcotics and other acts of violence within our community,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Marcus Watson.

The new plea deal comes with a sentence of 17.5 years in federal prison. Upon his release, Allen will be on supervised release for five years.

WATE reported a previous encounter with the law for Allen in December 2018 when he was arrested in connection with a Morristown shooting. At that time he had just been released from prison after a 17-year sentence.