Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Federal jury convicts Joplin woman on felony weapons charge

(From the U. S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri)

A Joplin, Mo., woman was convicted by a federal trial jury today of illegally possessing a firearm.

Tracy Arlene Smith, 47, was found guilty of one count of being a felon and an unlawful user of cocaine and methamphetamine in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

According to evidence introduced during the trial, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Smith’s residence located in Joplin, on June 22, 2017. During the execution of the search warrant, members of the Ozark Drug Enforcement Team seized Smith’s purse, which contained a CDM Prod. Inc., .22-caliber pistol, loaded with six rounds of .22 caliber ammunition. Officers also seized drug paraphernalia.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who is an unlawful user of controlled substances, or who has been convicted of a felony, to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Smith, who was on parole at the time she committed the offense, has five prior felony convictions for forgery, four prior felony convictions for possession of a controlled substance, and prior felony convictions for sale of a controlled substance (on three separate occasions) and assault.

Under federal statutes, Smith is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of life in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

Following the presentation of evidence, the jury in the U.S. District Court in Springfield, Mo., deliberated for approximately 30 minutes before returning the guilty verdict to U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool, ending a trial that began Monday, Sept. 24, 2018.

This case is being prosecuted by Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall D. Eggert and Assistant U.S. Attorney Nhan D. Nguyen. It was investigated by the Ozark Drug Enforcement Team and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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