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Press Release

Newton Woman Pleads Guilty To Concealing Gun Crime Prior to Hesston Shootings

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

WICHITA, KAN. – A Newton woman pleaded guilty Thursday to concealing from authorities that a convicted felon unlawfully possessed firearms that he later used in a shooting incident at Excel Industries, Acting U.S. Attorney Tom Beall said.

Sarah T. Hopkins, 28, Newton, Kan., pleaded guilty to failing to report to authorities that convicted felon Cedric Ford unlawfully possessed a firearm.

In her plea, Hopkins admitted that on Feb. 5, 2016, she redeemed an AK-47 rifle from a pawn shop in Newton and gave it to Ford. On Feb 25, 2016, investigators recovered the rifle and a handgun at Excel Industries in Newton where Ford shot three people to death before being killed in a shootout with police.

Sentencing is set for Nov. 28.  Hopkins faces up to three years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. Beall commended the following agencies: The Hesston Police Department, the Harvey County Sheriff’s Department, the Newton Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the FBI, as well as Assistant U.S. Attorney Lanny Welch and Assistant U.S. Attorney David Lind for their work on the case.

Updated September 8, 2016

Firearms Offenses