For Immediate Release
Independence Man Pleads Guilty to Illegal Firearm Obtained Through Straw Purchase Less Than a Month After Leaving Prison
Displayed Multiple Firearms on Social Media Posts, Including Assault-Style Rifles, Glock Handguns Converted to Automatic, Guns With Extended Magazines
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – An Independence, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to illegally possessing a firearm, which he obtained through a straw purchase less than a month after being released from state prison on parole.
Kurup C. Seuell, 21, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Roseann Ketchmark to being a felon in possession of a firearm.
By pleading guilty today, Seuell admitted that he and a straw purchaser went to Frontier Justice, a firearms store and shooting range in Lee’s Summit, Mo., and purchased a Glock 9mm handgun on Jan. 30, 2021. Seuell was paroled from the Missouri Department of Corrections on Dec. 28, 2020, after attaining a 2018 conviction for stealing. Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition.
That same day, after purchasing the firearm, Seuell sent a video through his Facebook account showing the newly purchased firearm on his lap.
Investigation into Seuell’s social media accounts from January 2021 through March 2023 revealed Seuell frequently in possession of various assault-style rifles, handguns (including Glocks with affixed Glock “switches” to convert them to automatic), guns with extended magazines, distribution amounts of marijuana, and large quantities of cash. Seuell displayed a total at least eight but no more than 99 firearms. Seuell frequently created social media posts offering guns for sale. Seuell’s posts included him shooting guns at shooting ranges. It also included a video post of him firing a fully automatic handgun.
On March 29, 2023, while investigators were searching for Seuell to place him under arrest, Seuell posted a video of himself firing an apparent AR-type pistol, equipped with a drum style magazine, at Crossfire Recreation Center in Independence. While shooting, the video shows several other firearms laid out in front of him. Investigators acquired a signed copy (signed by Seuell) of the range safety rules and a signed copy of the range waiver from Crossfire Recreation Center. They also recovered surveillance video of Seuell firing various weapons at the range, and then acquiring 50 rounds of ammunition from the gun store side of the recreation center.
On March 29, 2023, Seuell also posted videos of himself in a bedroom displaying the same guns he’s seen with on the surveillance video and social media. On March 30, 2023, investigators were able to locate the address where Seuell was residing. As Seuell drove away from that residence and law enforcement officers followed, he began driving at a high rate of speed, weaving through traffic. Officers eventually found Seuell’s vehicle at a gas station and arrested him as he left the store.
Officers searched Seuell’s residence and found the firearms that Seuell displayed on his social media, as well as firearms seen in the surveillance video. Officers also found the ammunition that Seuell had acquired from the gun store the prior day.
Under federal statutes, Seuell is subject to a sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. 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 Jeffrey Q. McCarther. It was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Project Safe Neighborhoods
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.