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Press Release

Sedalia Man Indicted for Illegal Firearms

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

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A Sedalia, Mo., man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for illegally possessing several firearms.

Timothy Paul Cota, Jr., 26, was charged in a three-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Jefferson City, Mo., on Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018. The federal indictment replaces a criminal complaint that was filed against Cota on Oct. 1, 2018.

The indictment alleges that Cota was in possession of a Ruger 9mm pistol, a Colt .45-caliber pistol and a Tanfoglio 9mm pistol with an obliterated serial number on Sept. 4, 2018. Cota is charged with being a felon in possession of firearms, being an unlawful user of a controlled substance in possession of firearms, and possessing a firearm with an obliterated serial number.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the original criminal complaint, Sedalia police officers and detectives executed a search warrant at Cota’s residence on Sept. 4, 2018. Cota, along with a woman and an infant, were found in a bedroom and escorted out of the residence during the search. Officers searched the bedroom and found the Ruger (which had been reported stolen) and the Colt pistols hidden between the mattress and box springs of the bed. The Tanfoglio pistol was found in a plastic case on a chair in the room. Officers also found methamphetamine, marijuana, ammunition and drug paraphernalia in the room.

Officers also found an iPhone in the bedroom. According to the affidavit, the phone contained numerous images and videos of Cota displaying the firearms, discharging the firearms, displaying firearms with drugs, and weighing methamphetamine and marijuana on a digital scale.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Cota has prior felony convictions for burglary, resisting arrest, malicious assault and possession of a controlled substance.

The charges contained in this indictment is simply an accusation, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charge must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

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 and the Sedalia, Mo., Police Department.

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.

Updated October 25, 2018

Project Safe Neighborhoods