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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



MARCH 23, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


COLUMBIA MAN SENTENCED FOR ILLEGAL FIREARM


            JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Bradley J. Schlozman, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Columbia, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for illegally possessing a firearm.


            Maurice Kendell Griffith, 29, of Columbia, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Nanette K. Laughrey this afternoon to eight years and four months in federal prison without parole.


            On Aug. 31, 2006, a federal jury found Griffith guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Griffith was in possession of a loaded Armi Tanfoglio Giuseppe .25-caliber semi-automatic pistol on Sept. 1, 2005. Griffith was sitting in the front passenger’s seat of a vehicle that was parked in a Columbia Housing Authority parking lot when he was contacted by two police officers. While officers interviewed the driver of the vehicle outside the car, they noticed Griffith had his hands down below the seat. Griffith, who was on the active trespass list for CHA property, was taken into custody. Police discovered the loaded pistol under the passenger seat.


            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. Griffith has a 2000 criminal felony conviction for tampering, a 1999 criminal felony conviction for delivery/manufacture of an imitation controlled substance, a 1995 criminal felony conviction for failure to appear in court, and a 1994 criminal felony conviction for burglary, all in Boone County, Mo.


            This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Lynn. It was investigated by the Columbia, Mo., Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.


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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