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 that a Kansas City, Mo., man was convicted by a federal jury today of illegally possessing a firearm.
Diamond D. Blair, 36, of Kansas City, was found guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Evidence introduced during the trial indicated that Blair was in possession of a Smith and Wesson .38-caliber revolver on July 5, 2009. Blair was a passenger in a vehicle that was pulled over by Kansas City police officers on that date. When officers searched the vehicle, they found the loaded revolver behind the bench seat in the middle of the vehicle.
It is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Blair has two prior felony convictions for robbery, as well as prior felony convictions for forcible sodomy, kidnaping, armed criminal action and unlawful use of a weapon.
Following the presentation of evidence, the jury in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City deliberated for about an hour before returning the guilty verdict to U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple, ending a trial that began Monday, Dec. 5, 2011.
Under federal statutes, Blair 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 Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys Leena V. Ramana and Sydney Sanders. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
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.