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Press Release

Jefferson City Man Pleads Guilty to Illegal Firearm Stolen During Home Burglaries

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

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Tom Larson, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Jefferson City, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to illegally possessing a firearm that he stole during a series of home burglaries.

Brandon Davide Wilkerson, 22, of Jefferson City, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Willie J. Epps, Jr., to being an unlawful user of a controlled substance in possession of a firearm.

From approximately September to December 2016, residents of Callaway, Cole, Miller, Moniteau and Cooper Counties reported numerous and related residential burglaries that multiple county sheriff and city police departments investigated. Wilkerson was identified as one of the persons involved.

Wilkerson told investigators that he used methamphetamine for the past two years, and recently he used it every other day. Wilkerson admitted that had sold a stolen firearm to his methamphetamine dealer for $100 worth of methamphetamine.

On Jan. 4, 2017, a Jefferson City police officer saw the person identified as Wilkerson’s source of methamphetamine and arrested him. The officer searched his vehicle and found a Ruger 9mm pistol, which he admitted he had obtained from Wilkerson in exchange for methamphetamine.

In a separate but related case, Stephan Alben Whelan, 22, of Jefferson City, also has pleaded guilty to being an illegal drug user in possession of firearms. Whelan told investigators that he and other individuals were involved in multiple burglaries in the mid-Missouri area. He stated he was involved in so many burglaries that he could not remember where specific items were taken from and when they were taken. He traded the stolen items for methamphetamine. Law enforcement officers executed search warrants and recovered numerous stolen items, including several firearms that had been reported stolen.

Whelan admitted that he stole a Browning 12-gauge shotgun and a Henry Repeating Arms 30-30 caliber rifle from a residence in Lohman, Mo. Whelan traded the firearms, which were eventually recovered by law enforcement, for a quarter-ounce of methamphetamine. Whelan also admitted that he stole a Marlin 30-30 caliber rifle from a residence in Moniteau County, Mo. Whelan told investigators that he was on methamphetamine during the burglary, and after the burglary threw the rifle out the window of a car. The firearm was later recovered.
Under federal statutes, Wilkerson and Whelan each are subject to a sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. Sentencing hearings will be scheduled after the completion of presentence investigations by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lawrence E. Miller. It was investigated by the Jefferson City, Mo., Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Cole County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department and the Eldon, Mo., Police Department.

Updated November 7, 2017

Firearms Offenses