News and Press Releases

project ceasefire

kC man sentenced to 10 years for illegal firearm
after hit-and-run, police chase

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 22, 2011

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kansas City, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for illegally possessing a firearm after he was arrested following a hit-and-run in a stolen vehicle and a police chase in which officers were injured.

Rashod L. James, 20, of Kansas City, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple to 10 years in federal prison without parole, which is the statutory maximum penalty.

On May 18, 2011, James pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

James was arrested on Oct. 24, 2010. According to court documents, uniformed police officers on routine patrol in marked cars saw a Cadillac being driven by James hit another vehicle and speed away. The Cadillac was later determined to be the stolen vehicle of a homicide victim.

Police officers activated their lights and siren to stop James, who fled from the police at high rates of speed. James failed to stop for multiple stop signs and traveled through multiple residential zones at speeds approximating 60 to 70 miles per hour in posted 25-miles-per-hour zones. James also drove the vehicle the wrong way down a one-way street, committed additional stop sign violations and traveled at speeds of approximately 80 to 95 miles per hour in posted 35-miles-per-hour zones.

Stop sticks deployed by the police caused the vehicle to completely lose its front tire and come to a stop. James fled from the car, carrying a fully loaded Sig Sauer .22-caliber semi-automatic pistol in his hand. He then led the police on a foot chase while carrying the loaded pistol with a chambered round. When a police officer grabbed his shirt, James forcibly pulled away while still carrying the pistol and leaped down a deep embankment. The officers followed and took James to the ground. James physically struggled with the officers while still holding the firearm and caused severe injuries to the officers. They forcibly yanked his hand from underneath James’s body as he struggled and resisted arrest; the pistol was found underneath James’s body.

One of the officers involved in the pursuit and arrest was treated at a local hospital for a severe neck sprain and bruising to both knees. A second officer involved in the arrest was treated at a local hospital for a broken finger and abrasions to his arm and knee.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. James has prior felony convictions for tampering with a motor vehicle, burglary and resisting arrest. James was serving a term of parole on a Wyandotte County, Kan., case and a term of probation on a Jackson County, Mo., case at the time of his arrest.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christina Y. Tabor. 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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