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Press Release

Gladstone Man, Woman Charged with Illegal Firearms

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

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Gladstone, Mo., man and woman were charged in federal court today with illegally possessing firearms.


Michael Bellinghausen, 32, and his girlfriend, Tara Childress, 30, both of Gladstone, were charged in a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo.


Today’s criminal complaint alleges that Bellinghausen and Childress, unlawful users of controlled substances, aided and abetted each other to possess firearms.


According to an affidavit filed in support of today’s criminal complaint, law enforcement officers were investigating the robberies of several Walgreens pharmacies in which oxycodone was stolen. Officers executed a search warrant at the residence shared by Bellinghausen and Childress on Thursday, July 16, 2015. Among the items seized during the search was heroin, methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia and packaging materials, computers and a printer with specialty paper used to print medical prescriptions, two combat-style shotguns, three handguns and ammunition.


During a review of Bellinghausen’s social media accounts that are open and accessible to the general public, investigators found pictures of Bellinghausen and Childress posing with various firearms, including assault weapons and one handgun that appeared to be fitted with a sound suppressor.  One such photograph is labeled with the word “HITMAN” as Bellinghausen poses menacingly with a pistol in each hand.


Dickinson cautioned that the charge contained in this complaint is simply an accusation, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charge must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.


This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles E. Ambrose, Jr. It was investigated by the FBI, the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department and the Independence, Mo., Police Department.

Updated July 20, 2015

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