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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Nebraska
Steven Russell , United States Attorney
Contact: Mike Norris
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Denver Man Sentenced to 20 Months for Possession of Firearms

Acting United States Attorney Steven Russell announced that Adam Stuart Vannoy, 41, formerly from Denver, Colorado, was sentenced today by Senior United States District Court Judge Joseph F. Bataillon to 20 months imprisonment following his conviction for being an unlawful user of controlled substances in possession of firearms. After he completes his prison sentence, Vannoy will also serve three years on supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.

On March 14, 2021, a motorist traveling east on Interstate 80, while he was west of Lincoln, called 911 to report a road rage incident. The motorist reported that a white pickup truck was tailgating him, proceeded to pass him a couple of times, and then sped off at a high rate of speed well over the speed limit. A Nebraska State Patrol trooper later spotted the vehicle traveling east on Interstate 80 near the Waverly interchange and stopped the pickup truck. When the trooper first made contact with Vannoy, who was the only person in the pickup truck, he immediately noticed marijuana and drug paraphernalia in the vehicle. As Vannoy got out of the pickup truck, he told the trooper that he had a handgun in his jacket pocket. When the trooper searched the pickup truck, he found six other firearms, including a loaded AR-15 type rifle with an illegal silencer attached to the barrel. Vannoy explained that he was in the process of moving from Denver to Pennsylvania, and that is why he had all of his firearms with him. Vannoy also admitted to law enforcement officers that he was a regular user of marijuana.

Vannoy was initially charged with state offenses. He was released from jail on bond on March 17, 2021. On March 23, 2021, while in Ankeny, Iowa, Vannoy attempted to purchase an AR-15 type rifle. There was a mass shooting at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado the day before on March 22. The store in Ankeny refused to complete the sale after Vannoy made a comment about how he was surprised his friends did not call him to see if he was the shooter in Boulder. Federal charges were then filed in Nebraska and
Vannoy was soon located and arrested in Iowa by agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

This case was investigated by the Nebraska State Patrol and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and was part of Project Safe Neighborhood (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally based strategies to reduce violent crime.


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