News and Press Releases

West plains man sentenced to 15 years for illegal firearm

September 15, 2010

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a West Plains, Mo., man has been sentenced in federal court for illegally possessing a firearm.

James A. Scudder, 44, of West Plains, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard E. Dorr on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2010, to 15 years and eight months in federal prison without parole. Scudder was sentenced as an armed career offender due to his prior felony convictions.

On June 29, 2010, Scudder pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Scudder has two prior felony convictions for child molestation and a prior felony conviction for possession of paraphernalia with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine.

Scudder admitted that he was in possession of a Glock .40-caliber pistol when he was arrested on July 16, 2008. According to the plea agreement, the Howell County Sheriff’s Department was called to respond to a report of a man trying to gain entry to a residence that was occupied by two adults and two juveniles. Scudder was found lying below the deck. Laying beside Scudder was a 12-inch fixed-blade knife in a homemade sheath as well as a black bag containing seven smaller bags of methamphetamine, three bags containing marijuana, 3.79 grams of psilocyn (mushrooms), three tablets of clonazepam, 11 tablets of hydrocodone, several items of drug paraphernalia, ammunition, two sets of handcuffs, a pair of leg irons, women’s lingerie and a bottle of strawberry-flavored lubricant. The loaded pistol was found in Scudder’s truck, which was parked nearby.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gary K. Milligan. It was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Howell County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department.

Return to Top