United States Attorney Mike Stuart announced a Jackson County man was sentenced to 14 months in federal prison for stealing firearms from a licensed firearms dealer. James Evans, 19, of Ravenswood, will also serve three years on supervised release and pay $6,341.44 in restitution.

“Twenty-four stolen firearms. Stealing firearms is a serious offense,” United States Attorney Mike Stuart said. “I strongly support the Second Amendment to the Constitution, but those who break our gun laws must be held accountable and pay the price.”

Evans pled guilty in December 2019 to breaking into the Old and New Sports Store in Ravenswood on April 7, 2019, with three other individuals, and stealing approximately 24 firearms. Rebecca Ann Sellers, 19, and Destiny Moore, 19, have pled guilty and are scheduled to be sentenced on July 8, 2020. A juvenile was prosecuted in Jackson County Circuit Court.

The Ravenswood Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) conducted the investigation. United States District Judge Irene C. Berger imposed the sentence. Assistant United States Attorney Joshua Hanks handled the prosecution.

This case is part of Project Guardian, the Justice Department’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws.

Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. The United States Attorney’s Office has prosecuted this case with support from the Project Guardian partners listed above.

For more information about Project Guardian, please see: justice.gov/projectguardian