WICHITA – A Cherokee County man pleaded guilty Tuesday to unlawful possession of a rifle stolen during a burglary at a gunsmith’s residence, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said in a release.
Nathan J. Moss, 32, Columbus, pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. In his plea, Moss admitted he was arrested Aug. 18 after police chased the vehicle he was driving from Crawford to Cherokee County. In the vehicle, police officers found an Anderson Model AM-15 5.56-caliber rifle. The rifle was stolen four days earlier from M and M Tactical Gunsmithing in Arma, Kan.
Moss, who had a prior felony conviction from 2014 in Harvey County for drug related crimes, was prohibited by federal law from possessing a firearm.
Moss was originally charged with one count of stealing a firearm from a licensed dealer, two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm following a felony conviction and one count of unlawful possession of a silencer. The crimes are alleged to have occurred in August in Crawford and Cherokee counties.
The charges stem from an August 2018 incident in which following a police chase, Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department investigators obtained a search warrant on Moss’ home and executed it with assistance from the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office and Cherokee City Police.
“During the course of this investigation, we have recovered multiple truckloads of stolen property, valued in the tens of thousands of dollars,” Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves said at the time. “Some of the property includes tools, firearms, electronics, checks and personal items.
Groves said at the time there investigators recovered stolen property allegedly linking Moss to several burglaries in the area.
Sentencing is set for April 29. Both parties have agreed to recommend a sentence of five years in federal prison. McAllister commended the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Pittsburg Police Department, the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department, the Arma Police Department and Assistant U.S. Attorney Lanny Welch for their work on the case.