Skip to main content
Press Release

Raytown Man Convicted of Illegal Firearm

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

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Raytown, Missouri, man was convicted in a bench trial today of illegally possessing a sawed-off shotgun that he sold to an undercover federal agent.

James E. Hawkins, 36, was found guilty by U.S. District Judge Roseann Ketchmark of being a felon in possession of a firearm and of possessing an unregistered firearm.

According to evidence introduced during the bench trial, Hawkins was in possession of a Remington 12-gauge shotgun on Jan. 12, 2018. The sawed-off shotgun had a barrel of less than 18 inches in length, which Hawkins was not registered to possess. Hawkins sold the shotgun to an undercover special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for $260. Hawkins told the undercover agent that he used a hacksaw to shorten the barrel himself.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of a firearm or ammunition. Hawkins was on probation at the time of the offense following his state felony conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Under federal statutes, Hawkins is subject to a sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison without parole on each of the two counts. 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 Robert Smith and Assistant U.S. Attorney Ashleigh Ragner. It was investigated by 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 January 6, 2020

Project Safe Neighborhoods