OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
MATT J. WHITWORTH
Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106
JUNE 25, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MCDONALD COUNTY MAN CHARGED WITH
ILLEGALLY POSSESSING FIREARMS
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Matt J. Whitworth, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a McDonald County, Mo., man was charged in federal court today with illegally possessing firearms following a search of his 200-acre property in southern Missouri.
Robert Neil Joos, 56, of McDonald County, was charged in a federal criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Springfield, Mo., on Wednesday, June 24, 2009, with being a felon in possession of firearms. Joos, who was arrested this morning, remains in federal custody pending a detention hearing on Monday, June 29, 2009.
According to an affidavit filed in support of the federal criminal complaint, today’s arrest arose from a federal investigation into a Feb. 26, 2004, bombing incident that injured the Director of Diversity & Dialogue for the city of Scottsdale, Ariz. The injured city official is a black male. The undercover investigation focused on several persons involved in white supremacist movements throughout the United States. In the course of the investigation, the affidavit says, undercover agents were told about a retreat location in Missouri that members of the movement utilized. Joos was identified as the owner of the property.
A confidential informant and two undercover ATF agents visited Joos at his McDonald County property on three occasions in January 2008 and in January and February 2009. During those visits, the affidavit says, they observed several firearms and ammunition.
Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Joos has a 1997 felony conviction for unlawful use of a weapon and a 2004 felony conviction for operating a motor vehicle without a valid license.
Whitworth cautioned that the charge contained in this complaint is simply an accusation, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charge must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James J. Kelleher. It was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
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