Felon found guilty of possessing a firearm in Kansas City

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A Kansas City, Mo., man was convicted in federal court of illegally possessing a firearm.

Terrell M. Simpson, 42, was found guilty at trial of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

On May 11, 2020, Kansas City police officers pulled over a vehicle in which Simpson, who had active arrest warrants, was a passenger. After Simpson was ordered to get out of the car and was placed under arrest, officers searched the vehicle because they had seen Simpson moving around as if he was trying to hide something.

Officers found a loaded Smith & Wesson 9mm semi-automatic handgun inside the driver’s purse, which was sitting on the passenger’s side floorboard of the car. The driver denied any knowledge of the handgun. A forensic examination indicated that Simpson’s DNA was located on the handgun. The FBI Crime Laboratory analyzed DNA swabs from the trigger and trigger guard. It determined there was very strong support that the defendant was the major contributor of the DNA. The lab provided a statistical analysis that the genetic information is 3.9 septillion times more likely to be observed if the defendant and three unknown individuals are the contributors than if it were four unknown individuals that are the contributors.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Simpson has two prior felony convictions for drug trafficking and prior felony convictions for possession of a controlled substance and unlawful use of a weapon. Additionally, Simpson has prior convictions for domestic assault in the second degree and armed criminal action.

Following the presentation of evidence, the jury in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo., deliberated for approximately two hours before returning the guilty verdict to U.S. Chief District Judge Beth Phillips, ending a trial that began Monday, June 3.

Under federal statutes, Simpson is sentenced to up to 10 years in federal prison without parole. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stefan C. Hughes and Stephanie Bradshaw. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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