Independence man who led police on chase, fought officers, sentenced for illegally possessing firearm

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An Independence, Missouri, man who ran from police officers on a stolen motorcycle and fought with several officers as he resisted arrest was sentenced in federal court Tuesday for illegally possessing a firearm.

U.S. District Judge Stephen R. Bough sentenced 35-year-old Michael S. Reaves to five years in federal prison without parole.

On April 28, 2021, Reaves pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

An Independence police officer attempted to stop Reaves, who was riding a 2009 Honda motorcycle, on the afternoon of Aug. 27, 2020. Reaves took off at a high rate of speed, nearly losing control of the motorcycle.

The officer chased Reaves but he was able to get away. A few minutes later, another officer contacted Reaves while he was putting gas in the motorcycle at a Shell gas station off E. U.S. 40 Highway.

The officer attempted to detain Reaves, but a struggle ensued as Reaves tried to pull away. During the struggle, two DEA agents, who were in Kansas City in support of Operation LeGend, in a car parked nearby got out of their vehicle and helped the officer subdue Reaves.

Reaves was actively resisting arrest at this point, including kicking. The struggle continued; at points Reaves tried to stand up while he was being handcuffed. The officer eventually had to deploy a Taser to subdue Reaves and get him into custody.

Officers found a loaded Ruger 9mm handgun clipped to the inside of the motorcycle’s windshield, and a box that contained nine alprazolam pills in a compartment underneath the seat cushion. Officers later determined that the motorcycle was stolen.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who is convicted of a felony to be in possession of a firearm or ammunition. Reaves has prior felony convictions for possession of a controlled substance, leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident, robbery and theft.

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