ATF

Sample Block


Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

400 East Ninth Street
Room 5510
Kansas City, MO 64106

www.justice.gov/usao/mow

For Immediate Release

January 12, 2010

Beth Phillips, United States Attorney

Contact: Don Ledford, Public Affairs

(816) 426-4220

Jury Convicts McDonald County Man of Illegally Possessing Firearms, Explosives

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a McDonald County, Mo., man was convicted in federal court today of illegally possessing firearms and explosives at his 200-acre property in southern Missouri.

Robert Neil Joos, 56, of McDonald County, was found guilty of being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, and one count of being a felon in possession of explosives. When law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Joos’ property on June 25, 2009, they found five shotguns, five rifles, five pistols, more than 19,000 rounds of ammunition and blasting caps.

This case arose from a federal investigation into a Feb. 26, 2004, bombing incident that seriously injured two people, including the Director of Diversity & Dialogue for the city of Scottsdale, Ariz. The injured city official is a black male. The undercover investigation focused on several persons involved in white supremacist movements throughout the United States. In the course of the investigation, undercover agents were told about a retreat location in Missouri that members of the movement utilized. Joos was identified as the occupant of the property. Investigators also reviewed the telephone records of one of the bombing suspects and learned that several calls were made to Joos on the morning of the bombing incident. Dennis and Daniel Mahon, two brothers, were indicted by a federal grand jury in Arizona on June 16, 2009, for their roles in the bombing.

A confidential informant and two undercover ATF agents visited Joos at his McDonald County property on three occasions in January 2008 and in January and February 2009. During those visits, they observed several firearms and ammunition.

In telephone conversations, Joos often discussed stocking the caves on his property with weapons, food, water and other supplies in order to avoid capture or attack. In one conversation, an undercover agent told Joos he was having trouble with some “Kenites,” and Joos agreed to provide him with instructions for making a bomb; Joos later mailed him instructions for constructing a home-made bomb, along with a detailed drawing.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Joos has a 1997 felony conviction for unlawful use of a weapon and a 2004 felony conviction for operating a motor vehicle without a valid license.

Following the presentation of evidence, the jury in the U.S. District Court in Springfield deliberated approximately nine minutes before returning the guilty verdict to U.S. District Judge Richard E. Dorr, ending a trial that began Monday, Jan. 11, 2010.

Under federal statutes, Joos is subject to a sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $500,000. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James J. Kelleher. It was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

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