Belton Man Sentenced to 15 Years for Illegal Firearm Following Police Chase
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Belton, Missouri, man was sentenced in federal court today for illegally possessing a firearm after leading police officers on a vehicle pursuit that ended when he drove through residential yards and disabled his vehicle after striking several trees.
“This defendant is the epitome of a career criminal,” said U.S. Attorney Tim Garrison. “Not even 40 years old, he has been incarcerated or under court supervision for nearly two decades, committing acts of violence both in and out of custody. This office and our law enforcement partners will never stop working to incapacitate criminals who refuse to respect the law and threaten or violate the safety and security of others.”
Gregory P. Middaugh, 39, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Howard F. Sachs to 15 years and eight months in federal prison without parole. Middaugh was sentenced as an armed career criminal due to his prior violent felony convictions.
On March 25, 2019, Middaugh pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Belton police officers responded to a call of a burglary in progress on Feb. 10, 2017. Middaugh was kicking at the front door of his estranged girlfriend’s residence, attempting to make entry into the residence. Middaugh fled from the scene in a black Mercedes Benz C280.
Belton police officers attempted to stop Middaugh as he fled from the residence. Middaugh refused to stop and fled from the officers at a high rate of speed. While fleeing, Middaugh hit several parked vehicles. He then left the roadway and continued to drive through yards, where he struck several trees. Middaugh’s vehicle was eventually disabled, and he was taken into custody.
Officers searched the vehicle after Middaugh’s arrest and found a loaded Smith and Wesson .45-caliber pistol with a laser sight attachment lying on the passenger floorboard of the vehicle. The firearm was reportedly stolen. According to court documents, officers also found marijuana packaged for distribution, PCP, cocaine, prescription pills, and drug paraphernalia.
Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Middaugh has two prior felony convictions for burglary, two prior felony convictions for stealing, and prior felony convictions for domestic violence (in which he shot his girlfriend in the face), robbery, armed criminal action and assault on a state Department of Corrections employee.
Between 1998 and 2017, Middaugh was arrested 19 times, which resulted in eight felony convictions and three misdemeanor convictions. Additionally, Middaugh is currently charged with two felony and 14 misdemeanor offenses (including murder) in five pending cases throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area. As a result of these convictions, he has been on probation, parole, or incarcerated almost continuously since 1997.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Moeder. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Belton, Mo., Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Project Safe Neighborhoods
The U.S. Attorney’s Office is partnering with federal, state, and local law enforcement to specifically identify criminals responsible for significant violent crime in the Western District of Missouri. A centerpiece of this effort is Project Safe Neighborhoods, a program that brings together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make neighborhoods safer for everyone. Project Safe Neighborhoods is an evidence-based program that identifies the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develops comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, Project Safe Neighborhoods focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.