jury convicts KC man of illegally possessing firearm
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kansas City, Mo., man was convicted in federal court today of illegally possessing a firearm, his second federal conviction for that offense.
Mario A. Thibeaux, 39, of Kansas City, was found guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm. This is Thibeaux’s second federal conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm. He also pleaded guilty to the offense on March 31, 2005, and in that case was sentenced to 63 months in federal prison.
Evidence introduced during the trial indicated that Thibeaux was in possession of a Bersa .380-caliber semi-automatic pistol on Feb. 22, 2013. Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. In addition to his prior felony conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm, Thibeaux has two prior felony convictions for possession of a controlled substance and a prior felony conviction for distributing a controlled substance.
Thibeaux was arrested on Feb. 22, 2013, after Kansas City, Mo., police officers were called at about 2 a.m. to investigate an outside disturbance involving a party armed with a gun. The officers were given information that there were two males and a female fighting and one of the males was waving a gun around. As the officers arrived, they observed a maroon Dodge Durango apparently stuck in the snow in the middle of the street. Two males and a female were apparently trying to free the vehicle from the stuck position in the snow. The officers asked the individuals to show their hands, but Thibeaux failed to comply with the officers’ orders. Thibeaux moved to the back of the vehicle, reached into the pocket of the vest he was wearing and threw a black object towards the driver’s side of the vehicle.
The object thrown by Thibeaux was recovered and determined to be a loaded Bersa .380-caliber, semi-automatic pistol. Thibeaux was determined to be a convicted felon and placed under arrest.
Following the presentation of evidence, the jury in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo., deliberated for about four hours over two days before returning the guilty verdict to U.S. District Judge Greg Kays, ending a trial that began Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013.
Under federal statutes, Thibeaux is subject to a sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney D. Michael Green. It was investigated by the Kansas City, 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.
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