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Press Release

West Plains Man Sentenced 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 West Plains, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for illegally possessing a firearm.

Christopher Waldorf, 30, of West Plains, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Brian C. Wimes to four years and three months in federal prison without parole.

On Nov. 14, 2016, Waldorf pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. Waldorf admitted that he possessed a loaded Taurus 9mm firearm on Sept. 3, 2015.

West Plains police officers were dispatched to a residence on Sept. 3, 2015, in response to a call for gunshots fired. When officers arrived, they determined that Waldorf became involved in an argument with another individual and, during that argument, fired the handgun.

The victim of Waldorf’s assault told officers that as he exited his vehicle, Waldorf approached him in an aggressive manner and said that he was going to kill him. Waldorf produced a pistol and fired one shot over the victim’s head. The victim stated that after the first shot, he grabbed Waldorf’s hand and pushed it away from his head. Waldorf responded by striking him along the side of his head with the pistol. The victim told officers that as Waldorf struck the side of his head, the pistol discharged, nearly striking him. After the second shot Waldorf ran inside his residence.

Officers found Waldorf hiding in a bedroom closet in his residence and placed him under arrest. Officers found the loaded firearm in a dresser drawer.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Waldorf has prior felony convictions for the sale of methamphetamine and possession of a controlled substance.

According to court documents, Waldorf has repeatedly possessed firearms and illegal narcotics and has been repeatedly arrested by the West Plains police department. Less than two months prior to Waldorf’s actions in this case, he was arrested for sale of methamphetamine and possession of ammunition. Approximately three months after this incident, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant of Waldorf’s residence and discovered numerous firearms, ammunition and drug paraphernalia containing drug residue.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Carney. It was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the West Plains, Mo., Police Department.

Updated August 29, 2017

Firearms Offenses