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Press Release

Sedalia Man Pleads Guilty to Illegal Firearm

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

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Timothy A. Garrison, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Sedalia, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to illegally possessing a firearm.

Justin Lee Denny, 27, of Sedalia, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Willie J. Epps, Jr., to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

By pleading guilty today, Denny admitted that he was in possession of a Kel-Tec .380-caliber semi-automatic pistol on Nov. 21, 2017.

A Sedalia police officer was conducting a traffic stop on Nov. 21, 2017, but when the officer activated his emergency lights, Denny accelerated away from the patrol car. The officer activated his sirens and pursued Denny for about two blocks before Denny abruptly pulled over.

During the pursuit, the officer could see that Denny appeared to be moving something with his hands in the middle of the seat. When the officer approached his truck, Denny was nervous and his hands were visibly shaking. The officer noticed that Denny appeared to be attempting to conceal something under a bag next to him.

After the officer told Denny to step out of the truck, he admitted that there was a gun in the seat. The officer searched the truck and recovered the pistol, which had been reported stolen out of Sedalia, as well as a black pouch that contained several plastic Ziploc bags, including one baggie with suspected methamphetamine.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Denny has three prior felony convictions for possession of a controlled substance and two prior felony convictions for driving with a revoked/suspended license.

Under federal statutes, Denny 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 Sedalia, Mo., Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Updated March 15, 2018

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