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Man Who Held Henderson Police in 24-hour Standoff Sentenced to 188 Months in Federal Prison

April 7, 2005

Las Vegas, Nev. - A man who held Henderson Police Department Officers in a 24-hour standoff last April was sentenced this morning by U.S. District Judge James C. Mahan to 188 months in prison for his guilty plea to Felon in Possession of a Firearm, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.

According to the court records, on April 6, 2004, Henderson Police Officers responded to a residence in Henderson, Nevada, where it was reported that JEFFREY MICHAEL DONNELLY, age 39, of Henderson, had barricaded himself in the residence with numerous firearms. Over an approximately 24-hour period, officers attempted to convince DONNELLY to surrender and leave the residence, but he refused. DONNELLY fired approximately 17 shots from his firearms, none of which resulted in any injuries. To protect neighbors from possible gunfire, officers evacuated families from nearby homes and also shut down roads. Eventually, a SWAT team stormed into the residence and arrested DONNELLY in the upstairs attic. DONNELLY had prepared an area from which he could defend himself against the officers with a long rifle and other devices.

A subsequent search of the residence revealed that DONNELLY used all of the furniture and appliances to barricade the front door and to prevent access to the upstairs. The search also yielded eight firearms, numerous rounds of ammunition, a half stick of dynamite and several knives. All of the firearms had been stolen, and most were fully-loaded. The defendant also had 13 dogs at the residence.

DONNELLY has multiple prior felony convictions in the States of Florida and New York for aggravated assault, kidnaping, armed robbery, and for making a false statement to purchase a firearm. He was sentenced as a career offender under the United States Sentencing Guidelines because he had three previous convictions which were classified as violent felonies.

The case was investigated by Officers with the Henderson and Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Departments and Special Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Darin LaHood. It was screened by the Southern Nevada Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Task Force, a joint state, local and federal partnership that reviews cases for prosecution involving violent or recidivist offenders who are carrying or using guns. From 2002 to 2004, PSN Task Force members reviewed for prosecution approximately 1,650 gun cases.

Federal gun charges were filed against 528 of those individuals, and numerous more were prosecuted by the Clark County District Attorney's Office. In federal court, approximately 40% received sentences of imprisonment of at least five years, and approximately 75% received sentences of imprisonment of at least three years.

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