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Press Release

Sugar Creek Man Sentenced to 10 Years Following Motorcycle Chase

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

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Sugar Creek, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for illegally possessing a firearm after fleeing on his motorcycle from a police officer.

William M. Peters, 38, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Greg Kays to 10 years in federal prison without parole. Today’s sentence is the statutory maximum penalty for this offense.

On Sept. 2, 2021, Peters pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

A Sugar Creek, Mo., police officer attempted to stop Peters, who was driving a motorcycle, on Nov. 15, 2019. Peters attempted to flee by driving through yards and down embankments. Peters attempted to ram a locked gate, causing him to fall off the motorcycle. Peters then fled on foot.

The officer ordered Peters to stop running, at which point Peters stopped running and grabbed a Smith and Wesson .40-caliber handgun with a magazine and five rounds of ammunition from inside of his coat. As the officer drew his duty weapon, Peters threw the holstered firearm and was detained. The officer noted that Peter had a very strong odor of alcohol, but officers were unable to perform standard field sobriety tests due to his combative behavior. Officers searched Peters and found a baggie that contained .42 grams of methamphetamine and a glass smoking pipe. Peters admitted that he used methamphetamine every day and had bought one or two ounces of methamphetamine every day over the prior two months.

According to court documents, Peters also illegally possessed a stolen firearm on Nov. 17, 2020, and illegally possessed another firearm on June 18, 2021, both in Independence, Mo.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Peters has prior felony convictions for possessing a controlled substance and for distributing a controlled substance. At the time of his arrest in this case, Peters had an active Sugar Creek warrant for disorderly conduct and possession of drug paraphernalia and three felony Jackson County warrants for drug possession and assault.

This case was prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Maureen Brackett. It was investigated by the Independence, Mo., Police Department, the Jackson County Drug Task Force, the Sugar Creek, Mo., Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.


Project Safe Neighborhoods

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime. 

Updated April 18, 2022

Project Safe Neighborhoods