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Press Release

KC Man Sentenced to 20 Years for Illegal Firearm

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

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Kansas City, Mo., man has been sentenced in federal court for illegally possessing a firearm.

Laron J. Wainwright, 44, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Beth Phillips on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019, to 20 years in federal prison without parole. Wainwright was sentenced as an armed career offender due to his prior felony convictions.

On Aug. 22, 2018, Wainwright was found guilty at trial of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Wainwright possessed a loaded 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.

This case was 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.

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 1, 2019

Project Safe Neighborhoods