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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Western District of Missouri

For Immediate Release

August 2, 2012

David M. Ketchmark, United States Attorney

Contact: Don Ledford, Public Affairs
(816) 426-4220



KANSAS CITY, Mo. – David M. Ketchmark, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Chillicothe, Mo., man has been sentenced in federal court for illegally possessing a firearm.

Joseph M. Johnson, 33, of Chillicothe, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Brian C. Wimes on Monday, July 30, 2012, to four years and nine months in federal prison without parole.

On Feb. 7, 2012, Johnson pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. Johnson pawned a Winchester 30-06 caliber rifle at a Chillicothe pawn shop and about a month later attempted to redeem the rifle.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Johnson has prior felony convictions for involuntary manslaughter, unlawful use of a weapon and assault.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christina Y. Tabor. It was investigated by the Livingston County, Mo., Sheriff's Department, the Independence, Mo., Police Department and the ATF.

Project Ceasefire, launched in October 1999, is a cooperative initiative by federal and local law enforcement and the Kansas City Crime Commission that targets for federal prosecution persons who unlawfully use or possess firearms.