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kC man sentenced to 15 years for illegal firearm

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 12, 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 firearms.

Joseph J. Wright, 51, of Kansas City, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Ortrie D. Smith to 15 years in federal prison without parole. Wright was sentenced as an armed career offender due to his prior felony convictions.

On May 11, 2011, Wright pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. According to court documents, Wright was arrested on Feb. 15, 2011, for suspicion of driving while intoxicated. While searching Wright’s vehicle, the deputy found a loaded Hi-Point 9mm semi-automatic handgun on the rear passenger seat.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Wright has prior felony convictions for drug possession, escape and conspiracy to distribute cocaine.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christina Y.Tabor. It was investigated by the Jackson County, Mo., Sheriff’s 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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