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Geneva man faces up to 15 years for illegal gun possession

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  • Staff Report 

Willis Bowles, a 36-year-old Geneva resident with two prior felony convictions, has pleaded guilty to unlawfully possessing a firearm, a charge that could result in up to 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The plea was entered before Chief U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford, as announced by U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross.


The charge stems from a June 23, 2023, operation where the Ontario County Sheriff’s Office, executing a search warrant at Bowles’ home, discovered a loaded Smith and Wesson rifle along with a high-capacity magazine. Having been convicted of gun felonies in 2006 and 2007 in Florida, Bowles is legally barred from owning firearms.

The successful plea follows a thorough investigation by local law enforcement and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Bowles is scheduled for sentencing on June 10, 2024, marking a significant step in addressing illegal gun possession by convicted felons.