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Press Release

Oldham Co. Man Charged Federally For Possession Of Firearms While Under Domestic Violence Order

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

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – United States Attorney Russell Coleman today announced the charging of John James Shaughnessy III, 45, of Crestwood, Kentucky, for possessing firearms while under a Domestic Violence Order, possession of a destructive device not registered to him under the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Records, and manufacture of a destructive device not registered to him under the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Records.

“Kentucky families must be safe in their own homes. The United States Attorney’s Office will not tolerate the illegal possession, and in this case frightening use, of a firearm by someone subject to a Domestic Violence Order,” said U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman. “I am again pleased by the seamless collaboration with our state and local law enforcement partners to protect Kentuckians during this unsettling time, especially the Oldham County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.” 

According to the Criminal Complaint, on April 17, 2020, a neighbor contacted the Oldham County Police Department and stated that Shaughnessy was firing fully automatic weapons at his residence. Officers were notified by dispatch of a current Domestic Violence Order (DVO) against the defendant. The DVO stated that Shaughnessy was not to possess or purchase any firearms.

While setting up a perimeter, officers heard a vehicle start at the rear of the residence and saw tail and brake lights coming from a carport at the rear left corner of the house.  Officers then observed a black Ford Ranger pickup driving around the residence and down the driveway with no headlights on.  Law enforcement was able to get behind the vehicle and observed the vehicle with no head or taillights and unable to maintain lanes.  The vehicle, driven by Shaughnessy, crossed the center yellow line multiple times before driving off the roadway multiple times on the right hand side and side swiping a trash can. 

Oldham County Officers initiated a traffic stop. Shaughnessy exited the vehicle dressed in full military Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) with a large knife on his side and an empty holster on the other side. The defendant stated that he had a pistol in his pocket.  In a pocket on the mid left leg, officers located a .380 Walther handgun. The defendant stated that he also had other weapons inside the vehicle.

If convicted at trial, the maximum sentence for unlawfully possessing a firearm is no more than 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release. The maximum sentence for possession and manufacture of unregistered destructive devices is no more than 10 years in prison, and a $10,000 fine.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Alicia Gomez and the Office of Oldham County Commonwealth’s Attorney Courtney Baxter. It is being investigated by the Oldham Co. Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in support of the Oldham County Police Department.


A Criminal Complaint is an accusation only and

the person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.




Updated April 22, 2020