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Press Release

Jury Convicts Columbia Man of Illegal Firearm Following Police Chase

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

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A Columbia, Missouri, man has been convicted by a federal jury of illegally possessing the stolen firearm that he threw out of his car during a police chase.

Cecil Jason Robinson, 42, was found guilty on Thursday, Jan. 13, of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Robinson was in possession of a loaded Sig Sauer 9mm semi-automatic handgun with an extended magazine on Jan. 26, 2021.

ATF task force officers attempted a traffic stop of Robinson, who was driving a Chevrolet Silverado with a defective brake light on I-70 west between the St. Charles Road exit and the Highway 63 connector on Jan. 26, 2021. When the officers activated their emergency lights, Robinson’s vehicle exited I-70 onto the Highway 63 connector, where it immediately conducted an illegal U-turn, forcing oncoming traffic to stop. The vehicle entered the I-70 west entrance ramp, accelerating its speed, and a vehicle pursuit ensued.

Officers saw Robinson open the driver’s side door slightly and throw out the Sig Sauer handgun into the rocky area between the entrance ramp and I-70. Officers recovered the firearm, which had been reported stolen in Kansas City, Ks. Officers also saw Robinson throw out a baggie of marijuana near the 127.8 mile marker of I-70 west. The pursuit ended in the Columbia Mall parking lot and Robinson was taken into custody.

Under federal law, it is illegal for  anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Robinson has two prior felony convictions for robbery, two prior felony convictions for unlawful use of a weapon, and a prior felony conviction for drug trafficking.

Following the presentation of evidence, the jury in the U.S. District Court in Jefferson City, Mo., returned the guilty verdict to U.S. District Judge Roseann Ketchmark, ending a trial that began Wednesday, Jan. 12.

Under federal statutes, Robinson is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison without parole. The sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael S. Oliver. It was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Columbia, Mo., Police Department.

Project Safe Neighborhoods

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

Updated January 14, 2022

Project Safe Neighborhoods