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Press Release

Belton Man Sentenced for Illegal Firearms Stashed During Police Pursuit

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

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Belton, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for illegally possessing firearms that he stashed under the deck of a residence while fleeing from police officers through a residential neighborhood.

Jonathon M. Pentlin, 26, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Stephen R. Bough to eight years and four months in federal prison without parole.

On June 2, 2023, Pentlin pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

A police helicopter was following a stolen 2015 Ford Focus, which Pentlin was driving, from Belton to a Phillips 66 gas station at 5151 E. Red Bridge Road in Kansas City, Mo., on Feb. 23, 2022. Law enforcement officers were conducting surveillance on Pentlin and another person as part of an ongoing investigation into a residential burglary in which multiple firearms were stolen. A passenger got out of the Focus and into another vehicle at the gas station. Pentlin continued driving the stolen Focus westbound on Red Bridge Road.

As the helicopter followed the Focus, Pentlin began driving at a high speed. The Focus crashed into an innocent motorist in the area of 107th Terrace and Grandview Road in Kansas City, Mo., causing significant damage to that motorist’s vehicle as well as injury to the motorist. Pentlin got out of his vehicle and ran westbound through several residential backyards. A Kansas City police sergeant who got out of his vehicle in an attempt to apprehend Pentlin saw that Pentlin was armed with a handgun as he was running through the backyards.

Additional officers arrived and located Pentlin in the backyard of a residence on E. 107th Terrace. Officers ordered Pentlin to get on the ground, but he refused to follow their commands and continued to act erratically. Pentlin balled up his fists, assumed a fighting posture, and reached for his waistband as if he still had a firearm, while stating, “I’m going to kill you all.”

A Kansas City police officer shot Pentlin with a taser and he fell on his back. While on the ground, Pentlin continued to resist arrest and tried to kick officers. While taking Pentlin into custody, he bit an officer on the right thigh, which caused an open wound with bruising and swelling. While officers waited for EMS to arrive, Pentlin continuously slammed his head into the grass and attempted to bite several officers’ hands and fingers. Pentlin was transported to a local hospital by EMS.

An ATF agent with a police dog searched the area and found two firearms, a loaded Glock 9mm semi-automatic handgun and a loaded Beretta 9mm semi-automatic handgun, under the deck of a residence in a densely populated neighborhood less than a mile from an elementary school. Officers also found two plastic baggies that contained approximately 4.03 grams of methamphetamine, ammunition, and drug paraphernalia in the stolen car Pentlin was driving.

Court documents also refer to a pending case in Cass County, Mo., in which Pentlin fled from law enforcement officers at speeds reaching 100 miles per hour. Pentlin drove recklessly, entering the oncoming lane of traffic. After officers terminated the pursuit, Pentlin lost control of his vehicle and struck a white van. The collision caused the van to slide and roll one time down an embankment, causing injuries to the driver and two juvenile passengers. Pentlin ran from his vehicle, which also flipped, but was eventually apprehended. Police officers found a loaded firearm in Pentlin’s vehicle.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Pentlin has prior felony convictions for tampering with a motor vehicle, possessing a controlled substance, and distributing marijuana.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Megan A. Baker. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Project Safe Neighborhoods

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

Updated October 12, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods