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Press Release

Cape Girardeau Man Sentenced for Possessing Firearm following Stand-off with Police

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

The United States Attorney's Office announced that JAMES W. MATHENA, age 51, of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, was sentenced today to 210 months in federal prison following his guilty plea to being a previously convicted felon in possession of a firearm.  The sentence was imposed by United States District Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh, Jr. at the federal courthouse in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.      

According to court documents, law enforcement officers were dispatched to a residence in Cape Girardeau on December 15, 2017 after Mathena made various threats against his elderly parents.  When officers arrived, Mathena barricaded himself inside the residence and refused to come out.  After a stand-off lasting nearly three hours, Mathena finally exited the residence and surrendered to authorities.  Officers subsequently recovered a shotgun from Mathena’s bedroom in the basement.  Mathena was prohibited from possessing firearms under federal law because he is a convicted felon.  Mathena’s criminal history included a 1988 felony conviction from the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas for assaulting a federal officer with a dangerous weapon.  Mathena also had felony convictions for robbery, assault, distribution of methamphetamine, driving while intoxicated, and unlawful possession of firearms.   

This case was investigated by the Cape Girardeau Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).  Assistant United States Attorney Jack Koester handled the prosecution for the government.

Updated July 30, 2018

Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime