Local man faces federal firearms charges

Thursday, June 15, 2006

A Cassville man has been indicted on firearms charges by a federal grand jury.

The indictment against William Mansfield, 50, was handed down in federal court in Springfield on June 8, according to Bradley J. Schlozman, United States attorney for the Western District of Missouri.

The first two counts of the indictment alleges that Mansfield, a convicted felon and heroin user, was in possession of an Olympic Arms AR-15 machine gun, a Ruger and a Marlin 30-30 rifle and ammunition between April 23 and April 24 in Barry County.

Count three of the federal indictment alleges that Mansfield was in possession of a CZ 9-millimeter pistol and ammunition on May 23 in Barry County.

"Under federal law it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony and anyone who is an unlawful user of a controlled substance to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition," explained Schlozman.

Mansfield has been convicted of theft, receiving a stolen vehicle, resisting an officer, larceny and distribution of cocaine. These convictions occurred during the 1980s in Bergen County, N.J.

In the indictment's fourth count, Mansfield is charged with possession of heroin with intent to distribute.

Mansfield's indictment is a result of Project Ceasefire, a cooperative initiative by federal and local law enforcement that targets people who unlawfully use or possess firearms with federal prosecution.

The case against Mansfield is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney James J. Kelleher. It was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives, the Barry County Sheriff's Department and the Southwest Drug Task Force.

Drug charges were filed against Mansfield in Barry County Associate Circuit Court two weeks ago. The Cassville man faces local charges of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.

According to court records, law enforcement officials who were executing a search warrant at the Mansfield residence north of Cassville found 26 individually packaged plastic bags of a brown powdery substance hidden in one of Mansfield's toilets. The substance field tested positive for heroin.

These officers also recovered weapons and cash from Mansfield's home during the May 23 search.

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