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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of New York
Trini E. Ross, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Twice Convicted Felon Pleads Guilty to New Gun Charge

UFFALO, N.Y. — U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that Willis Bowles, 36, of Geneva, pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford to being a felon in possession of a firearm, which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Everardo A. Rodriguez, who is handling the case, stated that on June 23, 2023, the Ontario County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at Bowles’ Geneva residence. During the search, investigators seized a loaded Smith and Wesson rifle. A high capacity 30 round magazine, containing 22 rounds of ammunition was also seized. In 2006 and 2007, Bowles was convicted of gun felonies in the State of Florida and is legally prohibited from possessing a firearm.

The plea is the result of an investigation by the Ontario County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff David Cirencione; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge John B. DeVito, New York Field Division; and the Geneva Police Department, under the direction of Chief Matt Colton.

Sentencing is scheduled for June 10, 2024, before Judge Wolford.


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