News and Press Releases

springfield man sentenced to 20 years in prison
for illegally possessing ammunition

December 6, 2012

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - David M. Ketchmark, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Springfield, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for illegally possessing ammunition and for distributing marijuana.

Gerald L. Smith, 38, of Springfield, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple to 20 years and 10 months in federal prison without parole.

On July 11, 2012, Smith was convicted of being a felon in possession of ammunition and of distributing marijuana. Smith was also sentenced today to five years in federal prison without parole for distributing marijuana, to be served concurrently to the sentence for illegally possessing ammunition.

According to evidence presented during the trial, Springfield police officers conducted a controlled buy from Smith on Nov. 19, 2010. A confidential informant arranged to meet at a grocery store parking lot, where he purchased marijuana from Smith.

Springfield police officers executed a search warrant at Smith’s residence on Dec. 15, 2010. Officers found a box that contained 43 rounds of .38-caliber ammunition in a backpack, along with several baggies and marijuana residue in the backpack.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Smith has prior felony convictions for assaulting a law enforcement officer and unlawful use of a weapon for firing a gun at a police officer, assault and robbery for beating a man with a baseball bat (resulting in multiple broken bones) and robbing him, domestic assault for punching a female in the head, tampering with a motor vehicle and assault for stealing a car and kicking a man, unlawful use of a weapon for carrying a concealed semi-automatic handgun, possession of crack cocaine and possession of methamphetamine.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Timothy A. Garrison and Randall D. Eggert. It was investigated by the Springfield, Mo., Police Department.

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