DALLAS The Midlothian Police Department is being credited for its role in putting a career offender behind bars.

Larry Edward Petersen, 50, of Dallas, was sentenced Thursday to 240 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsay for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute.

The announcement was made by James T. Jacks, acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas. At the sentencing hearing, Lindsay found that the crime of evading arrest qualifies as a crime of violence for career offender purposes. Petersen was convicted at trial in April 2008.

On Oct. 11, 2007, Midlothian officers stopped Petersen regarding a felony complaint and, at that time, Petersen had more than $5,000 in cash and a small amount of methamphetamine in his possession, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

An officer searching the area immediately surrounding the truck Petersen was driving found a dark-colored, pipe-shaped object containing a white crystalline substance, which appeared to be methamphetamine, laying in a ditch, according to the release.

Petersen admitted to law enforcement that it was his and that he had told his passenger to throw it out of the window prior to being stopped by the police, prosecutors said, noting that a Texas Department of Public Safety lab confirmed that the substance contained about 83 grams of methamphetamine.

Petersen claimed that he planned to travel to Arlington and other cities in Texas to sell the drugs, prosecutors said, adding that a firearm, a Ruger .357 Revolver, also was found close to where the traffic stop occurred.

Petersen is a multi-convicted felon, at both the state and federal level, with numerous convictions for methamphetamine-related offenses, felony evading arrest and introducing heroin into a federal correctional institute.

The case was adopted for federal prosecution by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives through the Project Safe Neighborhood initiative, a federal program designed for the quick and aggressive prosecution of firearm offenses.

In the press release, Jacks praised the work of ATF and the Midlothian Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Camille Sparks prosecuted the case.