Man sentenced to more than 8 years for illegal gun possession

Sunday, March 25, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 7:48 a.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

A Columbia man was sentenced Friday to eight years and four months in federal prison without the possibility of parole for illegally possessing a firearm, according to a news release from Bradley J. Schlozman, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri.

Maurice K. Griffith, 29, was found guilty in August of felony possession of a firearm, the release stated.

In September 2005, Griffith was sitting in a car in a Columbia Housing Authority parking lot when police noticed, while talking to the driver of the car, that Griffith was hiding his hands beneath the seat, according to the release. The officers discovered he had a loaded .25-caliber semi-automatic pistol, and then took Griffith into custody. He was also on the active trespass list for Columbia Housing Authority property, according to the release.

Federal law makes it illegal for a convicted felon to be in possession of firearms or ammunition, Schlozman said in the release. Griffith has state felony convictions for burglary in 1994, failure to appear in court in 1995, delivery or manufacture of an imitation controlled substance in 1998 and tampering in 2000, according to, a database of Missouri civil and criminal cases.

The case was investigated by the Columbia Police Department, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Lynn prosecuted the case.

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