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Press Release

Springfield Man Sentenced to 15 Years for Illegal Firearm

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

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tom Larson, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Springfield, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for illegally possessing a firearm.

Joseph E. Finch, 38, of Springfield, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to 15 years and eight months in federal prison without parole. Finch was sentenced as an armed career criminal due to his prior felony convictions.

On Nov. 3, 2016, Finch pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. Finch was arrested on Oct. 27, 2015, when law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at his residence. Finch was in possession of 9.83 grams of methamphetamine, .21 gram of heroin, 3.5 grams of marijuana and $900. Officers found a Hi-Point .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol and 32 rounds of ammunition inside a cooking stove on the back porch of the residence. More ammunition was found in a storage shed.

Finch admitted to law enforcement officers that he was a drug dealer.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Finch has two prior felony convictions for distributing cocaine and prior felony convictions for drug trafficking and distributing crack cocaine.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nhan D. Nguyen. It was investigated by the Springfield, Mo., Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Updated May 3, 2017

Firearms Offenses