OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
JOHN F. WOOD
Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106
SEPTEMBER 27, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SPRINGFIELD MAN SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS
FOR ILLEGAL FIREARM
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Springfield, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for illegally possessing firearms.
Robert Tharp, 41, of Springfield, was sentenced by U.S. Chief District Judge Fernando J. Gaitan, Jr., to 15 years in federal prison without parole. Tharp was sentenced as an armed career offender due to his prior violent felony convictions.
On April 4, 2007, Tharp pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. Springfield police officers contacted Tharp at the Skyline Inn in Springfield after being dispatched in regard to a shooting on Jan. 9, 2004. The officers found Tharp, who was suffering from a gunshot wound, lying on the bed in his motel room. Officers recovered two firearms – a High Standard .22-caliber semi-automatic handgun that was laying on the floor of the motel room, and an RG Industries .22-caliber revolver that had been moved to another motel room.
Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Tharp has five criminal felony convictions, including a 1988 criminal felony conviction for rape in Greene County, Mo., and convictions for possession of methamphetamine, burglary, stealing and escaping from custody, also in Greene County.
This case was prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney James J. Kelleher. It was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Springfield, Mo., Police Department.
Project Ceasefire is a cooperative initiative by federal and local law enforcement that targets for federal prosecution persons who unlawfully use or possess firearms.
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