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Press Release

KC Man Pleads Guilty to Illegal Firearm

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

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Kansas City, Missouri, man who was released from prison in what became known as the “doppelganger case” pleaded guilty in federal court today to illegally possessing a firearm.

Richard A. Jones, 43, pleaded guilty before U.S. Chief District Judge Beth Phillips to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

By pleading guilty today, Jones admitted he was in possession of a Glock 9mm semi-automatic pistol on Feb. 25, 2019. Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Jones has prior felony convictions for burglary and robbery. 

At the time of the offense, Jones had recently been released from prison in Kansas after serving 17 years when a different robbery conviction was overturned in what was dubbed the “doppelganger case.” Another suspect, whose appearance was similar to Jones’, was identified and eyewitnesses testified they could no longer say Jones was the robber.

On Feb. 25, 2019, Kansas City police officers responded to a domestic disturbance that involved Jones. When officers attempted to separate Jones and another person, Jones pulled away from the officers and ran. As Jones ran, officers saw a handgun in his rear waistband.

Officers followed the path Jones fled down a flight of stairs and found the pistol and a loaded magazine on the floor nearby. The pistol had been stolen in a burglary of a commercial firearms dealer.

Officers spotted Jones getting into a vehicle on March 5, 2019, and attempted to perform a car stop. Jones fled from officers in a dangerous manner and at high speeds down Swope Parkway before losing control of his vehicle and crashing into a tree in the median. Jones ran from the vehicle, ignoring officers’ commands to go to the ground. He was apprehended after a short pursuit and taken into custody. Jones was in possession of .58 grams of cocaine and 17 grams of marijuana. Officers searched Jones’ car and found a stolen Smith and Wesson 9mm semi-automatic handgun.

Under federal statutes, Jones is 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 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 Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean T. Foley. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department.

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 November 14, 2019

Project Safe Neighborhoods