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Press Release

Armed Missouri Man Who Triggered Standoff Convicted of Gun Charge

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Missouri

ST. LOUIS –A Missouri man who triggered a 19-hour standoff with law enforcement in 2022 was convicted Wednesday in U.S. District Court in St. Louis of a gun charge.

The jury found Stephen J. Thorp, 62, of Moberly, guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm. 

According to evidence and testimony presented at trial, members of a U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force were attempting to arrest Thorp on a warrant issued by the Missouri Board of Probation and Parole. Thorp was on parole after having been convicted of second-degree murder and armed criminal action in Marion County Circuit Court. The warrant was triggered by new charges of resisting arrest in Callaway County, Missouri.

After a member of the Fugitive task force learned that Thorp was at another man’s home in Randolph County, near Moberly, members of the task force and the Northern Missouri Drug Task Force went to that home on April 11, 2022. Two occupants exited the house and told officers that Thorp was inside. Thorp ignored loudspeaker announcements to leave. A robot and a K-9 were both unsuccessful in getting him out. After a search warrant was obtained, the Moberly SWAT team sent a drone into the home. Thorp fired three shots while the drone was in the house. The drone later captured video of Thorp with a gun in his hand before he used that gun to disable the drone, evidence and testimony showed. The Moberly SWAT later deployed a chemical agent which forced Thorp out of the house.

A still image taken from drone video showing Stephen Thorp.
Court exhibit 7E.

The U.S. Marshals Service, the Moberly Police Department, the Randolph County Sheriff’s Department, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Linn County Sheriff’s Office aided in the arrest. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ryan Finlen and Paul Rebar are prosecuting the case.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.


Robert Patrick, Public Affairs Officer,

Updated July 18, 2024

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses