DECATUR — A 22-year-male, described by police as a “career criminal,” was charged Friday with unlawful possession of weapons by a felon, after he was found asleep on a couch that concealed a loaded semiautomatic handgun.

On Tuesday morning, the Decatur Police Department’s Street Crimes Unit and Emergency Response Team conducted a raid at a home on the 300 block of East Cleveland Street.

“During the execution of the search warrant, Emergency Response Team members located Kelvin Thomas sleeping on the couch in the living room of the residence,” according to an arrest affidavit by detective Chad Larner. “A search of the couch that Thomas was sleeping on produced a loaded .40-caliber Glock semiautomatic firearm. The handgun was located directly beneath the couch cushion where Thomas was resting his head.”

The handgun contained an inserted magazine, with 12 live rounds. There was one live round in the firing chamber.

Thomas admitted to police that the firearm belonged to him. He said he bought it about two months ago at a convenience store parking lot in Decatur. The plate containing the handgun’s serial number had been removed.

“There are pry marks in the area where the serial number plate should be located, consistent with it having been intentionally removed,” Larner wrote.

Thomas told detective James Callaway that he was aware that the serial number had been removed, but “it didn’t matter to him.”

Since Thomas turned 17, he has served two prison terms. In 2007 he was convicted of attempted burglary and possessing a stolen motor vehicle, and was sentenced to two years probation as part of a plea deal. The following year, he was convicted of burglary and sentenced to three years in prison. In 2009 Thomas was convicted of felony reckless driving and sentenced to 18 months in prison.

His most recent charge, unlawful possession of weapons by a felon, is a Class 2 felony punishable by three to seven years in prison. Thomas is facing an enhanced sentence of up to 14 years because of his prior convictions.

Thomas is being held in the Macon County Jail on $50,000 bond, pending his arraignment on Monday in circuit court.|421-6985