PITT COUNTY -

A habitual felon from Pitt County has been sentenced to almost 18 years in prison for a firearm charge.

Michael Wayne Rouse Jr., 29, of Greenville, was sentenced Wednesday to 17 years and 8 months behind bars, U.S. Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced. Rouse will also be supervised for five years after his release.

In January 2013, Rouse was found with a shotgun that had been stolen from a Pitt County home, according to investigators. In September 2013, Rouse pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Since 2001, Rouse has been convicted for writing a worthless check, taking indecent liberties with a child and possession of a firearm by a felon, according to records.

Rouse was sentenced under the Armed Career Criminal Act. That statute requires that a defendant convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm be sentenced to at least 15 years in prison without parole if that defendant has at least three prior drug trafficking or violent felony convictions.