Judge sentences Wayne County man, Donald Sanders for firearm charge and attempted witness tampering
CAPE GIRARDEAU (STL.News) United States District Judge Stephen R. Clark sentenced Donald Sanders to 110 months in prison today. The 63-year-old Williamsville, Missouri resident pleaded guilty, in September, to one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and one count of attempting to intimidate or threaten a government witness.
On January 14, 2019, Sanders was a passenger in a pick-up truck . Officers tried to stop the truck, but the driver sped away and the truck eventually crashed. Officers found four firearms in the truck and recovered another rifle thrown from the truck during the chase and arrested Sanders and the driver. Officers later found a handgun in a motel room in Poplar Bluff that was shared by Sanders and the driver. Investigators soon learned all of the firearms were stolen from residences in Butler County, Missouri.
On February 9, 2019, while in the custody of the Butler County Jail, Sanders had a conversation with a visitor that was recorded. During the conversation, Sanders learned a female acquaintance was a possible witness against him for the firearm charge. Sanders expressed concern that he might be charged in federal court. Sanders directed the visitor to tell the woman, “Black River is very cold right now.” Sanders admitted this statement was an attempt to intimidate the woman into not testifying against him.
Sanders has prior convictions preventing him from possessing firearms.
The Butler County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case. Assistant United States Attorney Keith Sorrell is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.