Department of Justice
For Immediate Release
Columbia Man Sentenced to 15 Years for Illegal Firearm
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Columbia, Mo., man has been sentenced in federal court for illegally possessing a firearm.
Victor Lee McNeary, Jr., 39, of Columbia, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gary A. Fenner on Friday, June 12, 2015, to 15 years in federal prison without parole. McNeary was sentenced as an armed career offender due to his prior felony convictions.
On Oct. 23, 2013, McNeary was convicted at trial of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Evidence introduced during the trial indicated that McNeary was in possession of a Smith & Wesson .380-caliber handgun on Dec. 11, 2011. According to court documents, Columbia police officers responded to a disturbance at Swan Lake Restaurant, 10 Southampton Drive, at approximately 1 a.m. on that day. An officer was informed that McNeary had been in possession of a handgun but had left the scene. Officers found McNeary at a McDonald’s restaurant and questioned him about the disturbance. When an officer searched McNeary and found the handgun in his coat pocket, McNeary was arrested.
Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. McNeary has six prior felony convictions for robbery, two prior felony convictions for armed criminal action, two prior felony convictions for tampering and a prior felony conviction for attempted burglary.
According to a witness, McNeary started a fight inside the club and was escorted out. He started another fight in the parking lot that was broken up, and McNeary was told to leave. Instead, McNeary tried to run back into the club and tried to pick a fight with one of the security members. McNeary started walking towards his Cadillac that was parked across the street and continued to yell and scream. As McNeary got closer to his car he started yelling that he was going to get a gun. McNeary entered the vehicle through the passenger side and pulled a small black semi-automatic handgun from the vehicle. McNeary left shortly after by himself and the police were called.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lawrence E. Miller. It was investigated by the Columbia, Mo., Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Boone County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
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