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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Missouri

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Camden Man Sentenced for Illegal Firearm after Deer Decoy used in Ray County


KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Camden, Mo., man has been sentenced in federal court for illegally possessing a firearm following an investigation that employed a deer decoy in rural Ray County, Mo.

Dewayne A. Stephens, 44, of Camden, Mo., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gary A. Fenner on Monday, Nov. 17, 2014, to nine years in federal prison without parole.

On Dec. 19, 2013, Stephens pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Stephens was seen in the area of Vandiver Road in rural Ray County on Nov. 11, 2012, with a bolt action rifle. The next day, Stephens and another individual were seen carrying a rifle after shots were heard in the wooded area. A Winchester .243-caliber shell casing was found in the area where the shots were heard.

On Nov. 14, 2012, conservation agents set up a deer decoy and observed Stephens exit his Dodge truck with a black and silver colored rifle with a silver scope and fire a shot at the deer decoy. Stephens then entered his truck with the rifle and fled the scene. One of the agents attempted to stop Stephens by blocking the roadway with his patrol truck, but Stephens accelerated, veered around the patrol truck (barely missing it) and left the area.

A Winchester .243-caliber shell casing was located in the area where Stephens had fired his rifle. A silver Savage Axis .243-caliber rifle with a synthetic stock and large silver scope was found along the road where Stephens had fled. Investigators confirmed that the two .243-caliber shell casings recovered were fired from the Savage Axis rifle, which was purchased by Stephens’s wife on Sept. 29, 2012.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Stephens has three prior felony convictions for receiving stolen property and prior felony convictions for driving while intoxicated, assault, armed criminal action, deviate sexual assault, burglary and stealing.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney D. Michael Green. It was investigated by the Missouri Department of Conservation, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Independence, Mo., Police Department.

Updated January 14, 2015