independence man sentenced to 15 years for illegal firearm
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that an Independence, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for illegally possessing a firearm.
Louis A. Soileau, 32, of Independence, formerly of Louisana, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Howard F. Sachs to 15 years in federal prison without parole. Soileau was sentenced as an armed career offender due to his prior felony convictions.
On June 23, 2011, Soileau pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. Soileau admitted that he was in possession of a Winchester .22 magnum, lever action rifle on Jan. 3, 2011.
According to an affidavit filed in support of the original criminal complaint, police officers were called to the parking lot of the Blue Springs, Mo., City Hall in reference to a suspicious vehicle that was parked in a handicapped parking space. Soileau was standing next to the vehicle when officers arrived. Officers saw the barrel of a rifle in the rear of the vehicle. Soileau pulled a knife from his waistband, the affidavit says, and began walking toward the officers. One of the officers pointed his duty weapon at Soileau and ordered him to drop the knife. Soileau dropped the knife and fled on foot, but was apprehended a short time later.
The vehicle, as well as the rifle and another firearm that were found in the vehicle, had been reported as stolen during a burglary earlier that day at a Blue Springs residence.
Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Soileau has two prior felony convictions for burglary and a prior felony conviction for unlawful entry of a business.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul S. Becker. It was investigated by the Blue Springs, 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.