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Press Release

Independence Man Sentenced to 15 Years for Illegally Possessing Stolen Rifles

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 an Independence, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for illegally possessing several stolen firearms.


Randall T. James, 45, of Independence, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple to 15 years in federal prison without parole. James was sentenced as an armed career criminal due to his prior felony convictions.


On March 14, 2016, James pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of firearms. James admitted he was in possession of a Marlin .22-caliber rifle, a Browning 7mm rifle, a Marlin .30-30-caliber rifle and a J.C. Higgins .270-caliber rifle on April 5, 2012.


This investigation began on April 5, 2012, when an Independence resident reported that someone had broken into his house and stolen several firearms. The back door had been kicked in and there were several firearms wrapped in a blanket on the floor, as if someone had intended to steal these also but then fled the scene.


On June 25, 2012, law enforcement investigators received a tip that some of the stolen firearms were at the home of James’s sister. Officers executed a search warrant at the residence and seized four of the rifles that had been stolen. James’s sister and nephew confirmed that the rifles had been purchased from James.


James was identified by several neighbors of the burglary victim, and one of the latent prints collected from the crime scene was confirmed to match James’s palm print.


Law enforcement investigators learned that on May 29, 2012, James had pawned another rifle that had been stolen during the burglary (uncharged, due to it being an antique).


Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. James has two prior felony convictions for the sale of a controlled substance and prior felony convictions for assault, armed criminal action, carrying a concealed weapon, possession of a controlled substance and resisting arrest.


This case was prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph W. Vanover. It was investigated by the Independence, Mo., Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Updated August 9, 2016

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