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Former 'FBI most wanted' charged with illegal firearm

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 16, 2010

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kansas City, Mo., woman was charged in federal court today with illegally possessing a firearm after leading police officers on a short pursuit through a parking lot.

Shauntay Henderson, 27, of Kansas City, was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm in a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo. Henderson remains in federal custody pending a detention hearing at 10 a.m. on Sept. 21, 2010.

According to an affidavit filed in support of today’s criminal complaint, law enforcement officers were conducting surveillance at a Kansas City, Mo., residence on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2010, due to recent drug activity and gang violence. During the surveillance, officers saw Henderson arrive at the house. Moments later, she left the residence and got into the front passenger seat of the black Kia Sportage that she had arrived in. An unidentified female drove the vehicle to the Wal-Mart at 11601 E. 40 Hwy., Kansas City. Officers watched the two women enter the store; when they returned to the vehicle, officers activated their red lights and siren in an attempt to stop the vehicle.

The driver of the vehicle didn’t stop, the affidavit says, and instead fled through the Wal-Mart parking lot and into the Lowe’s parking lot. Officers pursued the vehicle. When the vehicle stopped behind the Lowe’s store, Henderson got out and started running. The officers pursued Henderson on foot, the affidavit says, and saw her remove a handgun from her right front pants pocket and drop it on the ground. An officer retrieved the firearm as other officers continued the pursuit to the back yard of a nearby residence, where Henderson was detained.

The firearm was identified as a Taurus .40-caliber semi-automatic handgun. Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Henderson has prior felony convictions for voluntary manslaughter and armed criminal action, for which she is currently on parole.

Phillips 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 Stefan Hughes. 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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