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NEWS RELEASE

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

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


DECEMBER 9, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


JURY CONVICTS KC MAN OF ILLEGALLY

POSSESSING A FIREARM


FACES 15-YEAR MINIMUM PRISON TERM


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kansas City, Mo., man was convicted in federal court today of illegally possessing a firearm.


            Luis A. Rodriguez, 48, of Kansas City, was found guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm.


            Rodriguez was arrested on April 3, 2008, following a traffic stop in the area of Swope Parkway and Prospect when a Kansas City police officer conducted a license check on the vehicle Rodriguez was driving and learned the license plate was registered to a different vehicle. When Rodriguez informed the officer that he did not have a valid driver’s license, he was placed under arrest. Rodriguez had a suspended driver’s license and outstanding warrants.


            Evidence presented during the trial indicated that the officer searched Rodriguez and located a loaded Davis Industries .22-caliber pistol in his right front pants pocket.


            Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Rodriguez has a prior felony conviction in Jackson County, Mo., for assault and two prior felony convictions in Connecticut for burglary as well as convictions for robbery, possession of a sawed-off shotgun, larceny, tampering, and possession of burglar tools.


            Following the presentation of evidence, the jury in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City deliberated about 20 minutes before returning the guilty verdict to U.S. District Judge Gary A. Fenner, ending a trial that began Monday, Dec. 8, 2008.


            Under federal statutes, Rodriguez is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison without parole, up to life in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.


            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David A. Barnes. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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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