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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


NOVEMBER 19, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


PROJECT CEASEFIRE


INDEPENDENCE MAN SENTENCED TO 21 YEARS IN PRISON

FOR ILLEGAL FIREARMS


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that an Independence, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for illegally possessing firearms that he had stolen during a home robbery in which he duct-taped a woman to her bed while he ransacked her house and fled by stealing her vehicle and leading police on a high-speed chase.


            Ronald Shufelt, 52, of Independence, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Scott O. Wright this morning to 21 years and 10 months in federal prison without parole.


            On July 30, 2008, Shufelt was convicted at trial of being a felon in possession of firearms. Shufelt was in possession of a loaded Remington 12-gauge shotgun, a Marlin 30-30 rifle, a Winchester 410 shotgun, a Winchester .22-caliber rifle and an Arisaka rifle on Jan. 19, 2007.


            Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Shufelt has 22 prior felony convictions for offenses that include burglary, attempted arson, stealing and receiving stolen property.


            Evidence presented during the trial indicated that Shufelt attacked the victim while she was getting in her car to go to work on Jan. 19, 2007. He dragged her through the house and duct-taped her to the bed. While she was tied down, Shufelt began ransacking the house and taking items. Using a crowbar, he broke into a gun cabinet in the basement and removed the firearms. As he was leaving, Shufelt removed the key to the victim’s Trailblazer from the key ring and threw the rest of the house keys at her. She used a small pocket knife that was attached to the key ring to cut the duct tape and free herself, then called the police.


            When Independence police officers located the stolen vehicle, Shufelt led them on a high-speed pursuit but was eventually stopped and arrested.


            This case was prosecuted by U.S. Attorney John F. Wood and First Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Whitworth. It was investigated by the Independence, 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