A 45-year-old Independence man, who was sentenced as a career criminal because of prior felony convictions, faces a 15-year prison term for possessing stolen rifles.
A federal judge in Kansas City on Tuesday sentenced Randall T. James to serve the sentence without the possibility of parole. James pleaded guilty in May to being a felon in possession of firearms.
James admitted that in April 2012, he possessed a Marlin .22-caliber rifle, a Browning 7 mm rifle, a Marlin .30-30-caliber rifle and a J.C. Higgins .270-caliber rifle.
The weapons were stolen April 5, 2012, from an Independence house. The resident discovered that the back door had been kicked in and that there were several rifles wrapped in a blanket on the floor. It appeared that someone had intended to take those rifles too, but had fled the scene.
After receiving a tip, police found four of the stolen firearms at James’ sister’s house. She told police that the rifles had been bought from James.
Police also matched a palm print from the crime scene to James. Several of the victim’s neighbors also identified James. Investigators discovered that James pawned one of the stolen rifles, which was an antique.
Federal law prohibits convicted felons from possessing firearms or ammunition. James has prior felony convictions for the sale of controlled substances, assault, armed criminal action, resisting arrest and carrying a concealed weapon.