Knapp Pleads Guilty to Discharging Firearm During Commission of a Violent Crime
ST. GEORGE – Troy James Knapp, age 46, charged in a federal indictment in October with assaulting a federal officer and two violations of federal firearms laws, pleaded guilty Monday afternoon in federal court in St. George to use, carry and discharge of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.
The count of conviction carries a potential life sentence with a 10-year minimum mandatory sentence. The plea agreement includes a recommendation that a 126-month sentence be imposed in the case. The sentence is subject to the approval of the Court. Sentencing in the case has been scheduled for June 9, 2014, at 10 a.m. in St. George.
Knapp was arrested in a remote area of Sanpete County on April 2, 2013. The indictment alleged that as events unfolded that day leading to his arrest, he assaulted federal officers engaged in the performance of their official duties. The officers included a Deputy United States Marshal, a U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement Officer, and others who were assisting federal officers. The indictment also alleged he discharged an SKS-type assault rifle during the violent crime of assaulting a federal officer.
As a part of the plea agreement, Knapp stipulated that he carried, used, and discharged a rifle as he was attempting to flee from law enforcement authorities. He admitted that when he discharged the rifle, he intended to impede federal officers and those assisting them from apprehending him.
Federal prosecutors agreed to dismiss one count of assaulting a federal officer and one count of felon in possession of firearms and ammunition at sentencing as a part of the plea agreement.
Sanpete County Attorney Brody L. Keisel was designated a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney and assisted in the prosecution of the federal case. Several federal, state, and local agencies contributed to the investigation.