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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

SW Missouri man sentenced in bombing case

Friday, May 21, 2010

A McDonald County man was sentenced to six years in federal prison for illegally possessing firearms and explosives at his 200-acre compound in southwest Missouri. Robert Neil Joos, 56, was sentenced Tuesday in Springfield by U.S. District Judge Richard E. Dorr. He will serve six years and six months in the federal penitentiary without the possibility of parole.

According to Beth Phillips, United States attorney for the Western District of Missouri, Joos was arrested in June 2009 when law enforcement officers executed a search warrant on his property and seized five shotguns, five rifles, five pistols and more than 19,000 rounds of ammunition and blasting caps.

The search of Joos' property stemmed from a federal investigation into a Feb. 26, 2004, bombing incident that seriously injured two people in Scottsdale, Ariz. One of the victims was Scottsdale's director of diversity and dialogue, who happens to be a black male.

The undercover investigation focused on several persons involved in white supremacist movements throughout the United States. In the course of the investigation, undercover agents were told about a retreat in Missouri where members of the movement gathered. The property was later identified as Joos' land in McDonald County.

Telephone records from one of the bombing suspects revealed several calls were made to Joos on the morning of the bombing incident. Brothers Dennis and Daniel Mahon were indicted by a federal grand jury in Arizona on June 16, 2009, for their roles in the bombing.

A confidential informant and two undercover ATF agents visited Joos at his McDonald County property on three occasions in January 2008 and in January and February 2009. During those visits, they observed a cache of firearms and ammunition.

According to Phillips, Joos often discussed stocking the caves on his property with weapons, food, water and other supplies in order to avoid capture or attack. In one conversation, an undercover agent told Joos he was having trouble with some "Kenites," and Joos later mailed the agents instructions and drawings for constructing a home-made bomb.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Joos has a 1997 felony conviction for unlawful use of a weapon and a 2004 felony conviction for operating a motor vehicle without a valid license.

The case against Joos was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James J. Kelleher and investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

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