DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Friday, August 25, 2017
Tom Larson
, United States Attorney
Contact: Don Ledford

Restaurant Owner Sentenced for Illegal Firearms

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Tom Larson, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that an Auxvasse, Mo., man has been sentenced in federal court for illegally possessing 21 firearms and three firearm silencers.


Billy Bush Owen, 54, of Auxvasse, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Stephen R. Bough on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017, to 18 months in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Owen to pay a fine of $3,600.


Owen, the owner of Panhead Billy’s BBQ in Kingdom City, Mo., admitted that he was in possession of 21 firearms on Dec. 9, 2015, including handguns, rifles and shotguns, as well as three silencers. Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to possess any firearms (including silencers) or ammunition. Owen has prior felony convictions for transporting a controlled substance and possession of a dangerous weapon by an addict.


Owen was being investigated by MUSTANG (the Mid-Missouri Unified Strike Team and Narcotics Group) when officers executed a search warrant at this residence on Dec. 9, 2015. Officers found 21 firearms, three silencers and 9,337 rounds of ammunition in the residence. Three of the firearms and 3,610 rounds of ammunition were in the bedroom, and the remaining firearms and the suppressors were in a safe in the garage. Officers also seized $35,109, digital scales, a drug ledger and nearly 22 pounds of marijuana from the residence.


This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lawrence E. Miller. It was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Callaway County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department and MUSTANG.



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







Kansas City Field Division