News and Press Releases

jury convicts st. joseph man of illegal firearm, ammunition

November 2, 2010

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a St. Joseph, Mo., man was convicted by a federal jury today of illegally possessing a firearm and ammunition.

Jason Lee Harris, 25, of St. Joseph, was found guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm and of being a felon in possession of ammunition.

St. Joseph police officers responded to a report of a shot fired at 3:49 a.m. on April 5, 2010. Harris had fired a pistol in the air during an argument between an acquaintance and another person. Harris and two other men left the residence before officers arrived. Police arrested Harris at a St. Joseph residence later that morning. As Harris was walking out of the house, he saw the police officers and dropped a loaded Hi-Point .40-caliber semi-automatic pistol just inside the doorway. He also dropped a handgun magazine containing nine live rounds of .40-caliber ammunition on the ground outside the door.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Harris has a prior felony conviction for burglary.

Following the presentation of evidence, the jury in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City deliberated less than an hour before returning the guilty verdicts to U.S. District Judge Greg Kays, ending a trial that began Monday, Nov. 1, 2010.

Under federal statutes, Harris is subject to a sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $500,000. 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 Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jalilah Otto and Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles E. Ambrose, Jr. It was investigated by the St. Joseph, Mo., Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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