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Press Release

Dangerous Felon Gets Five Years For Possessing A Firearm

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

           GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – U.S. Attorney Patrick Miles announced today that Jason Paul Arnold, age 32, formerly of Garden, Michigan, received five years in prison for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. Arnold was previously convicted by a jury after a one day trial in Grand Rapids on March 17, 2014.

           The series of events that led to Arnold’s conviction began in January 2013, when Arnold threatened to start “World War Three” if Child Protective Services (CPS) workers removed his children from his custody. Arnold was temporarily detained by police when CPS did remove his children. While detained, Arnold attempted to commit suicide in a police vehicle. Arnold was involuntarily hospitalized following this suicide attempt. In March 2013, Arnold, who has an extensive adult criminal history that includes violent crimes, again attempted to commit suicide and was hospitalized. In early April, after his release from the hospital, Arnold obtained a Winchester .30-06 caliber rifle and affixed a scope to it. He also purchased five boxes of ammunition and shot most of this ammunition in target practice.

           The Michigan State Police learned that Arnold might have obtained this high-powered rifle and questioned him. After Arnold admitted that he possessed the rifle, he was arrested. A search of Arnold’s house resulted in the discovery of the Winchester .30-06 rifle with a round in the chamber, a fully loaded magazine attached and a scope mounted on it. Additional rounds of ammunition were found along with the rifle. Arnold explained to police that he purchased the firearm simply to kill himself, which at a minimum didn’t explain the need for a high-powered rifle, scope and multiple rounds of ammunition.

           At sentencing, U.S. District Judge Robert Holmes Bell recognized Arnold posed a danger to the public. He sentenced Arnold to five years in prison because Arnold was not simply going to commit suicide, but was preparing to harm others.

           The Michigan State Police and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Maarten Vermaat prosecuted it.


Updated April 14, 2015