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Press Release

Jury Convicts KC Man of Illegal Firearm

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Missouri
Faces at Least 15 Years in Prison

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Kansas City, Mo., man was convicted by a federal trial jury today of illegally possessing a firearm.

Laron J. Wainwright, 43, was found guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Evidence introduced during the trial indicated that Wainwright was in possession of a Jimenez 9mm semi-automatic handgun, which had been reported as stolen, on April 5, 2015.

According to court documents, Kansas City, Mo., police officers were dispatched to the area of 11th Street and Prospect Avenue on April 5, 2015, to investigate suspicious drug activity in the park. When they contacted Wainwright, he fled and led officers on a pursuit through the park. As Wainwright ran onto Prospect Avenue, an officer saw the loaded Jimenez 9mm handgun fall onto the street. Wainwright continued running to a nearby apartment building; he attempted to get into the building but was unable to do so, and he was placed under arrest.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Wainwright has three prior felony convictions for distribution of a controlled substance, two prior felony convictions for possession of a controlled substance and a prior felony conviction for unlawful use of a weapon.

Following the presentation of evidence, the jury in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo., deliberated for about two hours before returning the guilty verdicts to U.S. District Judge Beth Phillips, ending a trial that began Monday, Aug. 20, 2018.

Under federal statutes, Wainwright is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 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 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 Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stefan C. Hughes and Matthew Moeder. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Updated August 22, 2018

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