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Columbia man pleads guilty to illegally having guns after chase

James Sander Jr.

James Sanders Jr., 31, pleaded guilty Thursday to two counts of felony possession of a firearm, according to the United States Attorney Office of the Western District.

According to the court, in July 2018, authorities arrested Sanders two different times. One of those arrests occurred while he was allegedly riding a stolen scooter. The second arrest came after he crashed into a tree during a high-speed chase. Authorities say they found Sanders with a gun during both incidents. He's a felon, so it's illegal for him to possess a firearm.

According to authorities, Sanders pulled into a Steak and Shake restaurant when police pulled him over on the scooter. An officer learned Sanders had a warrant for his arrest and grabbed Sanders by the wrist. Sanders allegedly tried running away but got only 10 feet before another officer threatened to tase him and he complied.

Authorities say they found a loaded handgun that had been reported stolen and counterfeit money.

The second time, officers arrested Sanders in Jefferson City. Police tried to pull him over for speeding and he reportedly took off. Police said Sander's vehicle reached a speed of 67 mph on Chestnut Street. Officials said when he tried to turn east onto Fairmount Boulevard, he lost control and ran into a tree. Authorities said they found him in possession of a loaded handgun.

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Alec Pettus

Alec Pettus is an evening news producer at ABC 17 News.


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