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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


BETH PHILLIPS


Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

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


DECEMBER 14, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


PROJECT CEASEFIRE


JURY CONVICTS KC MAN OF ILLEGAL FIREARM;

FACES AT LEAST 15 YEARS IN PRISON


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Kansas City, Mo., man has been convicted by a federal trial jury of illegally possessing a firearm.


            Jeroba K. Wright, 41, of Kansas City, was found guilty on Monday, Dec. 13, 2010, of being a felon in possession of a firearm.


            Wright was arrested following a pursuit by police officers on May 25, 2009. Officers conducted a traffic stop of the vehicle, which was being driven by another person with Wright in the passenger’s seat. When the driver got out of the vehicle, Wright slid over from the passenger’s seat into the driver’s seat and started to drive away. Police officers pursued the vehicle south on The Paseo as it was driven erratically and through red lights. The vehicle went over a concrete median into north-bound traffic and struck a light pole. Wright exited the vehicle and ran, but was apprehended after a foot chase.


            Officers searched the vehicle and found a Miroku .38-caliber revolver under the passenger’s seat.


            Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Wright has a prior felony conviction for murder, two prior felony convictions for burglary, and prior felony convictions for stealing, tampering, unlawful use of a weapon and violence or injury by an inmate.


            Following the presentation of evidence, the jury in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City deliberated for 35 minutes before returning the guilty verdict to U.S. District Judge Nanette K. Laughrey, ending a trial that began the same day.


            Under federal statutes, Wright is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of 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 Brian P. Casey. 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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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

http://www.justice.gov/usao/mow/index.html