Missouri man sentenced to 15-years for illegal firearms, meth trafficking

Prison Sentence

A Columbia, Missouri, man was sentenced in federal court for illegally possessing firearms and methamphetamine.

Matthew Alan Eads, 38, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Stephen R. Bough to 15 years in federal prison without parole. Eads was sentenced as an armed career criminal due to his prior felony convictions.

On Jan. 7, 2020, Eads pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm, to possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime, and to possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute.

According to court documents, Eads was driving a 1997 Lincoln on March 39, 2018, when he ran a red light at the intersection of Paris Road and Brown Station Road in Columbia, causing a collision with a pick-up truck. Officers were called to the scene of the crash. An officer smelled marijuana while retrieving Eads’s proof of insurance from his vehicle, and Eads admitted he had a small amount of marijuana.

Officers searched Eads’s vehicle and found a gray backpack on the rear passenger seat that contained a Bersa .380-caliber semi-automatic handgun and a prescription bottle that contained methamphetamine. In the Lincoln’s trunk officers found a drawstring athletic bag that contained a Phoenix Arms .22-caliber semi-automatic handgun and two plastic baggies that contained approximately 12 grams of methamphetamine. Also inside this bag was a marijuana pipe, suspected THC wax, and two loaded magazines for the Bersa handgun.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has a prior felony conviction to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Eads has prior felony convictions for assault (injuring his victim with a utility knife), possessing cocaine with the intent to deliver, stealing, drug trafficking, and distributing psilocin (mushrooms – a controlled substance).

This case was prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron M. Jolly. It was investigated by the Columbia, Mo., Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.