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KC man sentenced to 15 years for illegal firearm

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 4, 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.

Vinson Richard Smalls, 50, of Kansas City, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Greg Kays to 15 years in federal prison without parole. Smalls was sentenced as an armed career criminal due to his prior felony convictions.

On Dec. 16, 2010, Smalls pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. Kansas City police officers conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle that Smalls was driving on May 21, 2010. They saw a loaded Phoenix Arms Raven .25-caliber semiautomatic pistol lying on the back passenger floor board. After Smalls was removed from the vehicle, officers discovered a plastic bag lying on the front passenger seat that contained seven individually-wrapped baggies of crack cocaine.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Smalls has prior state felony convictions for robbery and sale of a controlled substance, as well as a federal felony conviction for distributing crack cocaine.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin G. Davids. 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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