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Press Release

Two Columbia Men Charged with 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 today that two Columbia, Mo., men have been charged in federal court, in separate cases, with illegally possessing firearms.

Ladame T. Smith, 23, and Lajuan Marquis Martin, 23, both of Columbia, were each charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm in separate criminal complaints filed in the U.S. District Court in Jefferson City, Mo., on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017. Martin and Smith are in federal custody and will have their initial court appearances today.

The first federal criminal complaint alleges that Smith, a felon, was in possession of a Zastava 7.62-caliber assault rifle and a Smith and Wesson 9mm semi-automatic handgun. The second federal criminal complaint alleges that Martin, a felon, was in possession of a Glock 9mm semi-automatic handgun.

According to affidavits filed in support of the criminal complaints, Columbia police officers were conducting surveillance and observed Smith get into a red Pontiac Grand Prix. Because Smith had an active parole absconder arrest warrant, officers stopped the vehicle, which was driven by Martin. A detective saw the loaded Glock handgun on the driver’s side floorboard at Martin’s feet and the loaded assault rifle between the passenger seat and doorjamb where Smith was seated. As Smith was exiting the vehicle, the detective also saw the loaded Smith and Wesson on the front passenger seat where Smith had been seated.

Officers also smelled the strong odor of burnt marijuana emanating from the inside of the vehicle and observed Smith smoking a “blunt” (marijuana cigar). Officers found eight grams of heroin packaged in 15 individual baggies and two Alprazolam pills in Martin’s pants pocket.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Smith has prior felony convictions for unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful use of a firearm, burglary and stealing. Martin has a prior felony conviction for resisting arrest.
Larson cautioned that the charges contained in these complaints are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt.

These cases are being prosecuted by Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael S. Oliver. They were investigated by the Columbia, Mo., Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Updated October 20, 2017

Firearms Offenses