Skip to main content
Press Release

Restaurant Owner Pleads Guilty to Illegal Firearms

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

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Tom Larson, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that an Auxvasse, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to illegally possessing 21 firearms and three firearm silencers.

Billy Bush Owen, 54, of Auxvasse, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Matt J. Whitworth to the charge contained in a Feb. 10, 2016, federal indictment.

Owen is the owner of Panhead Billy’s BBQ in Kingdom City, Mo. By pleading guilty today, Owen admitted that he was in possession of 21 firearms on Dec. 9, 2015, including handguns, rifles and shotguns, as well as three silencers. Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to possess any firearms (including silencers) or ammunition. Owen has prior felony convictions for transporting a controlled substance and possession of a dangerous weapon by an addict.

Owen was being investigated by MUSTANG (the Mid-Missouri Unified Strike Team and Narcotics Group) when officers executed a search warrant at this residence on Dec. 9, 2015. Officers found 21 firearms, three silencers and 9,337 rounds of ammunition in the residence. Three of the firearms and 3,610 rounds of ammunition were in the bedroom, and the remaining firearms and the suppressors were in a safe in the garage. Officers also seized $35,109, digital scales, a drug ledger and marijuana from the residence.

Under federal statutes, Owen 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 Assistant U.S. Attorney Lawrence E. Miller. It was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Callaway County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department and MUSTANG (the Mid-Missouri Unified Strike Team And Narcotics Group).

Updated March 22, 2017

Firearms Offenses