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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Western District of Missouri

For Immediate Release

August 12, 2011

Beth Phillips, United States Attorney

Contact: Don Ledford, Public Affairs
(816) 426-4220

Project Ceasefire

KC Man Sentenced to 15 Years for Illegal Firearm

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kansas City, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for illegally possessing firearms.

Joseph J. Wright, 51, of Kansas City, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Ortrie D. Smith to 15 years in federal prison without parole. Wright was sentenced as an armed career offender due to his prior felony convictions.

On May 11, 2011, Wright pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. According to court documents, Wright was arrested on Feb. 15, 2011, for suspicion of driving while intoxicated. While searching Wright’s vehicle, the deputy found a loaded Hi-Point 9mm semi-automatic handgun on the rear passenger seat.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Wright has prior felony convictions for drug possession, escape and conspiracy to distribute cocaine.

This case w as prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christina Y.Tabor. It was investigated by the Jackson County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Project Ceasefire

Project Ceasefire, launched in October 1999, is a cooperative initiative by federal and local law enforcement and the Kansas City Crime Commission that targets for federal prosecution persons who unlawfully use or possess firearms.


This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at

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