Drug- and firearm-related charges puts Lincoln man in jail for over eight years
LINCOLN, Neb. -- A Lincoln man was sentenced to over eight years in prison for drug- and firearm-related charges.
Acting U.S. Attorney Steven Russell said 24-year-old Joseph Thompson, of Lincoln, was sentenced to 100 months in prison on Monday. Thompson was charged for possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Thompson will have five years on supervised release after his initial sentence. There is no parole in the federal system.
According to court documents, Lincoln Police investigators searched a Lincoln hotel room and found a backpack containing marijuana, pills, and a firearm magazine speed loader on April 29, 2021. Investigators found more marijuana, a scale, more pills, and a 9 mm pistol in different spots of the hotel room. The loaded firearm was found under a TV cabinet with an extended magazine attached, and was reportedly stolen in 2017 out of McKinney, Texas.
Officials said the hotel surveillance video showed Thompson carrying the same backpack into the hotel room. Thompson admitted to police that there was marijuana in the hotel room and that it belonged to him. Investigators took Thompson’s cell phone from the hotel room and got a search warrant for it and data from the phone showed evidence of drug dealing and firearms possession.
Authorities said the content on the phone was from March 2021 to April 2021 and included photos and videos of guns of different makes and calibers. For example, an April 28 photo showed a gun with an extended magazine and light attachment that appeared to be the same gun found under the TV cabinet in the hotel room on April 29. A March 29 video showed Thompson holding a gun with an extended magazine. An April 4 video showed Thompson threatening to kill unknown people while holding a gun. An April 6 video showed a hand displaying numerous pills with the caption, “Shop Open.” A video from April 23 showed Thompson wearing body armor and showing a handgun.
According to court documents, the drugs found in the hotel search were sent to the Nebraska State Patrol Crime Lab and were confirmed to have the presence of marijuana and the presence of methamphetamine in some of the pills. Investigators also got cell phone data from one of the people seen on hotel surveillance video coming and going from the hotel room. Data from the phone showed communication from Thompson consistent with drug distribution from February 2021 to March 2021.
Officials said in an unrelated investigation from a July 8, 2021 shooting in Lincoln, investigators again took Thompson’s phone, and got a search warrant. Data from the phone showed Thompson’s continued firearm possession and drug distribution between April and July 2021.
Authorities said Thompson is a felon due to a 2017 conviction for possession of a firearm on school grounds.
This case was investigated by the Lincoln Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.