The man accused in the New Year’s Eve Moon Pie Drop shooting in Mobile last winter was sentenced Monday to 10 years in prison.

Thomas Earl Thomas, Jr., 23, was given the maximum sentence for using a Glock switch in the shooting, making the pistol a fully automatic firearm.

Court documents show he was accused of firing the .40 caliber Glock with an extended magazine and switch on Dauphin Street near South Jackson Street.

“Wantonly shooting into an innocent crowd, Thomas made his crime even more dangerous and serious by using an illegal machine gun,” said U.S. Attorney Sean P. Costello. “Working with our federal, state and local partners, we will do everything we can to protect our community by taking these illegal weapons off the street, and putting the criminals who use them in prison.”

Thomas pleaded guilty earlier this year to illegally possessing a machine gun. He also admitted that he lied to the detectives about the gun but came clean after surveillance video showed him on the scene.

The firearm he said he bought at a gun show in Mobile weeks before the shooting was not registered as a machine gun in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record, as required by federal law.

SEE ALSO: What are Glock switches? Why are we hearing about them now? Law enforcement officials argue Alabama needs new law

Thomas also faces state charges in connection to the shooting that killed one and injured nine others.

Thousands were gathered in the area for south Alabama’s largest New Year’s Eve celebration.

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email

Don’t miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.