Felon in Grandview, Missouri, who used explosives to attempt to break into ATM, pleads guilty to illegal firearm

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A Grandview, Mo., man who used explosives in two failed attempts to break into ATMs at Overland Park, Kan., businesses pleaded guilty in federal court to illegally possessing a firearm.

Josiah Ronnell Lewis, also known as “Joey,” 44, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Roseann Ketchmark to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives discovered Lewis’s Ruger 9mm semi-automatic firearm at his residence during their investigation into the failed ATM robberies. The firearm was found in the upstairs living room under a couch. Federal agents also found four improvised explosive devices, marijuana, drug paraphernalia, burglary tools, and clothing, gloves, and masks that matched those worn in one of the failed burglary attempts.

On April 29, 2021, Lewis used a crowbar to force the door open at Minit Mart, a convenience store located on 135th Street in Overland Park. Lewis held the door to the closed store open for an unknown accomplice, who placed a device with a fuse in the slot of an ATM inside the store. They left the store as an explosion occurred, then reentered the store and ran to the ATM. The explosion destroyed the ATM but did not breach the vault, which held approximately $25,000. Lewis and his accomplice left the store empty-handed.

In-store surveillance video footage showed both suspects were wearing dark clothing and masks. Lewis had shoes with white laces and white soles. Traffic camera footage led to the identification of a car registered to Lewis’s wife that he used as the getaway car. Investigators also secured a copy of in-store video footage from a nearby 7-Eleven where Lewis went right after the burglary of Minit Mart. One of Lewis’s former parole officers was able to positively identify Lewis from the 7-Eleven video footage.

On July 4, 2021, Lewis shattered a patio glass door with a rock at Maloney’s Sports Bar and Grill on West 79th Street in Overland Park. Lewis placed an explosive device on the ATM. The device detonated and destroyed the ATM and damaged the interior of Maloney’s. However, Lewis was not able to retrieve any money from the ATM, which contained approximately $2,440. Some of the ATM’s cash was damaged or destroyed in the explosion.

A vehicle seen leaving the area matched the vehicle used during the Minit Mart burglary and arson. Certain clothing items worn by the suspect matched the clothing worn by Lewis during the Minit Mart burglary and arson.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Lewis has three prior felony convictions for burglary of a motor vehicle,  as well as prior felony convictions for robbery, felon in possession of a firearm, and theft.

On Nov. 15, 2022, Lewis was sentenced to five years in federal prison without parole after pleading guilty in the District of Kansas to committing arson during the failed burglary at Maloney’s on July 4, 2021.

Under federal statutes, Lewis is subject to a sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison without parole in this case.  A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office. The court will determine whether the sentence, in this case, must be served consecutively or concurrently with his sentence in the District of Kansas.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Trey Alford. It was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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