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Press Release

KC Man Sentenced for Illegal Firearm

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

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

Jovell L. Swopes, 44, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Roseann Ketchmark to eight years in federal prison without parole. The court ordered this sentence to be served consecutively to a sentence of two years in federal prison for violating the terms of his federal supervised release, for a total term of 10 years in federal prison without parole.

On Dec. 15, 2021, Swopes was convicted at trial of one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Swopes sold 2.7 grams of marijuana to an undercover Kansas City, Mo., police officer on July 31, 2019. He was pulled over afterward and placed under arrest. Officers searched the vehicle Swopes was driving and found a loaded Glock .40-caliber semi-automatic pistol on the floor underneath the front passenger seat. Officers found a Glock magazine that contained 21 .40-caliber rounds inside a fanny pack on the floor of the backseat.

At the time of his arrest, Swopes was on supervised release after serving almost four years in federal prison for a conviction of being a felon in possession of a firearm. According to court documents, Swopes has a violent criminal history, including a long history of arrests related to assaults and domestic violence. For example, Swopes drove up to a residence on June 10, 2018, got out of his vehicle, and began to fire several shots from a firearm at another man. The victim attempted to run away from Swopes, who continued firing, shooting the victim multiple times in the legs. Swopes then got into his minivan and drove away.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. In addition to his prior federal conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm, Swopes has prior state felony convictions for assault, armed criminal action, sale of a controlled substance, and possession of a controlled substance.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kenneth W. Borgnino and David A. Barnes. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.


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 July 27, 2022

Project Safe Neighborhoods