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Press Release

Joplin Man Sentenced for Illegally Possessing Stolen Firearm

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

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Joplin, Missouri, man was sentenced in federal court today for illegally possessing the firearm stolen from a vehicle in the parking lot at the U.S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Mo.

Jeffrey Ray Dean Ford, 28, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to five years in federal prison without parole. The court ordered Ford’s federal sentence to be served consecutively to his undischarged terms of imprisonment in two separate state cases.

On Nov. 20, 2020, Ford pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

According to court documents, the investigation began on Oct. 15, 2019, after two vehicles were burglarized at the U.S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners. A Smith and Wesson semi-automatic .40-caliber firearm was stolen from one of the vehicles. FBI agents identified a suspect vehicle from surveillance cameras. Later the same day, Republic, Mo., police officers reported attempted automobile burglaries in which witnesses identified the same vehicle.

Agents contacted Ford at his workplace as he arrived, driving the borrowed vehicle that had been identified in surveillance video. Agents found the stolen firearm in the 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. Ford has 11 prior felony convictions, including possession of methamphetamine, burglary, tampering with a motor vehicle, possession of a stolen vehicle, several instances of felony theft, and several instances of receiving stolen property. Ford also has 23 misdemeanor convictions.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Carney. It was investigated by the FBI, the Springfield, Mo., Police Department, the Republic, Mo., Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. 

Project Safe Neighborhoods
The U.S. Attorney’s Office is partnering with federal, state, and local law enforcement to specifically identify criminals responsible for significant violent crime in the Western District of Missouri. A centerpiece of this effort is Project Safe Neighborhoods, a program that brings together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make neighborhoods safer for everyone. Project Safe Neighborhoods is an evidence-based program that identifies the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develops comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, Project Safe Neighborhoods focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

Updated March 31, 2021

Project Safe Neighborhoods