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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 12, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


PROJECT CEASEFIRE

OVERLAND PARK MAN SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS

FOR ILLEGAL FIREARMS


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Bradley J. Schlozman, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that an Overland Park, Kan., man was sentenced in federal court today for illegally possessing firearms and narcotics. Today’s sentencing is the result of Project Ceasefire, the district’s ongoing anti-crime initiative.


             Joseph R. Grooms, 30, of Overland Park, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple this afternoon to 15 years and eight months in federal prison without parole. Schlozman noted that Grooms was sentenced as an armed career offender due to his previous violent felony convictions.


             On Sept. 12, 2006, Grooms pleaded guilty to all three counts of a June 7, 2005, federal indictment. Grooms admitted to being in possession of a Smith & Wesson .22-caliber pistol and a Cobra .380-caliber pistol on Jan. 28, 2005. 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.


             Grooms also admitted that he was in possession with the intent to distribute cocaine and methamphetamine on Jan. 28, 2005.


            This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rudolph R. Rhodes, IV. It was investigated by the Kansas City, 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