Claremore Man Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison for Drug, Firearms, and Obstruction of Justice Offenses
A Claremore man was sentenced today in U.S. District Court for maintaining a drug-involved premises, being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, and obstruction of justice by using the threat of physical force against a witness.
U.S. District Judge Gregory K. Frizzell sentenced James Kent Patrick Hill, 58, to 25 years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release.
Hill previously pleaded guilty to the charges on March 12, 2019. During the plea hearing, he admitted to maintaining his Claremore residence for the purpose of using controlled substances such as methamphetamine, marijuana, alprazolam and diazepam. Hill further admitted to being a felon in possession of 10 firearms, including shotguns, rifles and pistols and more than 1,000 rounds of associated ammunition. Hill also stated that after he was arrested on Sept. 20, 2018, he threatened the use of force against Corporal John Haning, of the Rogers County Sheriff’s Office, when he reached for and nearly unholstered the Corporal’s firearm while being transported to the Rogers County Jail. By grabbing Haning’s firearm, Hill intended to influence, delay, and prevent the testimony of Haning and others in official proceedings.
“James Hill will have 25 years to reflect on his crimes while he serves his sentence in prison,” said U.S. Attorney Shores. “My team is focused on making northeastern Oklahoma neighborhoods safer by targeting drug and gun related crimes through Project Safe Neighborhoods. James Hill made a bad situation worse when he attempted to grab the service weapon of the deputy who had arrested him. Assaults on law enforcement officers and agents will be prosecuted by my office. If there is jurisdiction over the assault, then criminals should expect to meet a federal prosecutor. There is no better partner than the ATF to help us investigate these types of cases. I’m thankful the Rogers County Deputy in this case did not suffer serious injury or worse.”
Hill was remanded into the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service while awaiting state charges.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Verdigris Police Department and Rogers County Sheriff’s Office are the investigative agencies. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Morgan prosecuted the case