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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Missouri

Friday, December 9, 2016

Wheatland Man Sentenced for Illegal Firearms

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Wheatland, Mo., man has been sentenced in federal court for illegally possessing two machine guns.


William “Bill” Harlan Parker, IV, 41, of Wheatland, was sentenced on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, by U.S. District Judge Stephen R. Bough to three years and 10 months in federal prison without parole.


On May 17, 2016, William Parker pleaded guilty to possessing machine guns. Under federal law, it was illegal for him to possess any firearms or ammunition due to a prior misdemeanor conviction of domestic violence.


William Parker’s son and co-defendant, Devlin Quanah Parker, 21, of Wheatland, pleaded guilty on Aug. 2, 2016, to possessing a firearm with an altered and obliterated serial number. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 19, 2016.


Federal agents executed search warrants at Bill Parker’s residence on Oct. 23, 2015. William Parker was in the hallway holding an AR-15 style rifle. He was given verbal commands to put the rifle down, which he did, and he was then placed in handcuffs. Agents seized the AR-15 style rifle, a .223-caliber rifle. Agents also found several other firearms in the residence, including a Springfield .40-caliber pistol, a Stevens 12-gauge shotgun, an archangel .22-caliber rifle, and a Para .45-caliber pistol.


Devlin Parker was sleeping on a cot in a Chevrolet van outside the residence. Inside the van, officers found a Smith & Wesson .40-caliber handgun with no serial number, which fell from the blankets that Devlin Parker was using in the van. There was also a 12-gauge shotgun with no markings. In a box behind the driver’s seat there were two AR-15 style rifles with no visible identifying markings. The rifles were fully automatic and thus “machine guns.” Neither of the machine guns were registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record to either William Parker or Devlin Parker, and thus, could never have been lawfully possessed.


William Parker told agents that all of the firearms belonged to him and admitted that he had been making “AR-15 rifles.”


The investigation began when a cooperating individual reported to the Hickory County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department that s/he saw William and Devlin Parker with pistols on the back side of their hips on Oct. 12, 2015, at their residence. William Parker showed the cooperating individual two AR-15 rifles that were in his van, which he referred to as a “ghost gun” – meaning that the firearms did not have serial numbers on them. He told him/her that none of his firearms were registered.


Two cooperating individuals, one of whom was equipped with a recording device, met with William Parker at his residence a week later. William Parker showed them the two firearms, one of which was shorter than legally permissible and neither of which had serial numbers. William Parker stated, “You’re not supposed to do that, but I don’t believe in NFA (National Firearms Act) rules, personally.”


William Parker also stated to the cooperating individuals, “What about if I get pulled over, I’m thinking if they’re going to take my guns, I’m going to die, I’m going down, I’m giving my bullets first.” If the government came to him, he said, “I’m not going to be questioned … If there’s ever questions for me from them it’s going to be answered in lead … I’m going to take as many of them as I can.”


This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lawrence E. Miller. It was investigated by the Hickory County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Firearms Offenses
Updated December 9, 2016