A rural Carl Junction man received a suspended sentence and probation when he pleaded guilty Monday to unlawful possession of a firearm as a convicted felon.

James J. Destefano, 72, pleaded guilty to the charge in Jasper County Circuit Court in an agreement calling for a suspended sentence. Circuit Judge David Mouton accepted the plea deal and assessed Destefano an underlying term of five years, but he suspended execution of the sentence and placed him on supervised probation instead for five years.

The conviction stems from an arrest March 13, 2018, at the Missouri Probation and Parole Office on North Range Line Road in Webb City. A probable-cause affidavit states that the defendant, who has prior drug-related felony convictions in Newton County and is prohibited from possessing firearms, was in possession of an orange flare gun, which qualifies as a firearm under state law.

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