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Press Release

KC Man Sentenced for Illegal Firearm After Eluding DWI Checkpoint

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

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Kansas City, Mo., man who attempted to elude a DWI checkpoint while he was intoxicated was sentenced in federal court today for illegally possessing a firearm.

Derrick J. White, 30, was sentenced by U.S. Chief District Judge Greg Kays to eight years and 10 months in federal prison without parole.

On Feb. 5, 2018, White pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. White admitted that he was in possession of a Ruger 9mm handgun, which was found by Independence, Mo., police officers who searched his vehicle following a pursuit when he attempted to elude a sobriety checkpoint.

White was driving a vehicle while intoxicated when he encountered a DWI checkpoint near U.S. 24 Highway and Vassar Road in Independence at about 2:30 a.m. on Aug. 13, 2016. White refused to stop at the checkpoint, and instead accelerated and fled. Officers deployed stop-sticks and disabled White’s vehicle. 

According to court documents, officers observed many of the physical signs of someone under the influence of an intoxicant. White failed the standard field sobriety tests and refused to provide a breath sample to determine his blood alcohol content. During this encounter, he was uncooperative and argumentative with the officers. White was arrested for driving while intoxicated and fleeing. When officers searched his vehicle, they found the Ruger 9mm, with an obliterated serial number, underneath the driver’s seat.

According to court documents, White was arrested by Kansas City, Mo., police officers on May 8, 2017, after officers were dispatched on a disturbance involving the defendant. When the officers approached him, White refused to stop and fled on foot. Ultimately, White was detained, but throughout his detention, he was combative, uncooperative, and belligerent. Upon being arrested, he was found in possession of a High Point Arms, semi-automatic firearm.

Officers attempted to book White into the Jackson County Detention Center, but he was so intoxicated that the booking process could not be completed, so officers were forced to take him to a hospital. While at the hospital, White was belligerent to the hospital staff and security officers. He also made direct and indirect threatening comments about shooting the officers. Those statements included that he was happy each time he heard an officer had been shot and killed. He also threaten an officer directly by saying “when I get out in 10 or 15, shootin you is a cold fact.”

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. White has two prior criminal felony convictions for illegally possessing a firearm and prior felony convictions for tampering with a motor vehicle and possession of a controlled substance. Additionally, White has 27 misdemeanor convictions, including two offenses that involved firearms, three offenses that involved resisting arrest, nine driving offenses and three offenses that involved alcohol or drugs. White has been incarcerated, on parole, probation, or supervised release for approximately 10 of the past 11 years.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Moeder. It was investigated by the Independence, Mo., Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Updated August 10, 2018

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