News and Press Releases

springfield man indicted for illegal firearms following chase
that ended in a tree

September 28, 2011

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Springfield, Mo., man was indicted by a federal grand jury today for illegally possessing firearms. He was arrested following a police pursuit after he was found hiding in a tree.

Luis Alberto Cobayashi, 25, of Springfield, was charged with being a felon in possession of firearms in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Springfield. Today’s indictment replaces a federal criminal complaint that was filed against Cobayashi on Aug. 31, 2011.

The federal indictment alleges that Cobayashi was in possession of three handguns, four rifles and five shotguns.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the original criminal complaint, Cobayashi fled from law enforcement officers on Aug. 28, 2011. A Springfield police officer, who identified Cobayashi as the driver of the Lincoln Towncar after a Greene County sheriff’s deputy terminated his pursuit, went to Cobayashi’s residence. A few minutes later the officer saw Cobayashi turn onto the street. Cobayashi’s car began to spin its tires in reverse, the affidavit says, and drove away in reverse. Police officers began searching the area and found Cobayashi’s vehicle abandoned in the middle of the roadway. When they opened the car’s trunk, officers found a black bag that contained the firearms.

Officers found Cobayashi hiding in an evergreen tree in the front yard of his residence and he was arrested.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Cobayashi has prior felony convictions, including tampering, driving while intoxicated and possession of a controlled substance.

Phillips cautioned that the charge contained in this indictment 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 Timothy A. Garrison. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Springfield, Mo., Police Department.

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