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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


BRADLEY J. SCHLOZMAN



Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html



FEBRUARY 28, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


PROJECT CEASEFIRE

ST. JOSEPH MAN SENTENCED TO 21 YEARS

FOR ILLEGAL FIREARM


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Bradley J. Schlozman, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a St. Joseph, Mo., man has been sentenced in federal court for being a felon in possession of a firearm. This sentencing was the result of a successful investigation conducted under Project Ceasefire, the district’s ongoing anti-crime initiative.


            Mark B. Davidson, 44, of St. Joseph, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gary A. Fenner on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2007, to 21 years and eight months in federal prison without parole.


            “A dangerous criminal will be off the street for a long time, and our community will be safer as a result,” Schlozman said. “Project Ceasefire is designed to prevent crime by keeping guns out of the hands of convicted felons, and to proactively protect the potential victims of violent crime by sending armed felons back to prison before they commit any more crimes.”


            On March 25, 2006, Davidson was convicted by a federal jury for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Davidson was in possession of a Hi-Point .380-caliber pistol when he was arrested on Jan. 27, 2004. Davidson fled from police officers, first in his vehicle then on foot, before being caught and handcuffed. While being transported in a patrol car, Schlozman said, the police officer noticed Davidson squirming in the back seat like he was trying to get something out of his back pocket. After Davidson was removed from the car, the pistol was found on the floor board near where he had been sitting. The pistol had eight rounds in its magazine.


            Under federal law, Schlozman explained, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Davidson has a 2003 criminal felony conviction for attempted domestic assault in Clay County, Mo., a 2003 criminal felony conviction for resisting arrest in Platte County, Mo., a 1994 criminal felony conviction for sexual assault in the first degree in Buchanan County, Mo., and a 1982 criminal felony conviction for trespassing in Pueblo County, Mo.


            This case was prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph W. Vanover. It was investigated by the St. Joseph, Mo., Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.


Project Ceasefire

            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.


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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

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html