DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Missouri

For Immediate Release

Thursday, December 16, 2021
Teresa A. Moore (Acting)
, United States Attorney
Contact: Don Ledford

Jury Convicts KC Man of Illegal Firearm

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Kansas City, Missouri, man has been convicted by a federal trial jury of illegally possessing a firearm.

Jovell L. Swopes, 43, was found guilty on Wednesday, Dec. 15, of one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Swopes sold 2.7 grams of marijuana to an undercover Kansas City, Mo., police officer on July 31, 2019. He was pulled over afterward and placed under arrest. Officers searched the vehicle Swopes was driving and found a loaded Glock .40-caliber pistol on the front passenger seat. Officers found a Glock magazine that contained 21 .40-caliber rounds inside a fanny pack on the rear floorboard of the vehicle.

At the time of his arrest, Swopes was on supervised release after serving almost four years in federal prison for a conviction of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. In addition to his prior conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm, Swopes has prior felony convictions for assault, armed criminal action, sale of a controlled substance, and possession of a controlled substance.

Following the presentation of evidence, the jury in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo., deliberated for five hours before returning a guilty verdict on this count to U.S. District Judge Roseann Ketchmark, ending a trial that began Monday, Dec. 13.

Under federal statutes, Swopes is subject to a maximum sentence of 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. Attorneys Kenneth W. Borgnino and David A. Barnes. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

Project Safe Neighborhoods

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

Kansas City Field Division