A Grain Valley man will spend 10 years in federal prison for having a gun while distributing illegal drugs.

Matthew Scott Burr, 52, was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court in Jefferson City. He pleaded guilty in October 2019 to possessing a firearm in furtherance of drug-trafficking crimes – in this case distributing marijuana and cocaine – in connection with an October 2016 arrest in Columbia.

According to court documents, Columbia police officers located Burr, who had active warrants for his arrest, at a Columbia apartment. Two women at the apartment told officers that Burr was not living there but had been staying there for a week. One woman told officers Burr abused cocaine and talked about drug deals for thousands of dollars. She recalled Burr sitting at the kitchen table with another person with “lines of cocaine.”

After Burr was taken into custody, officers searched his duffel bag and found a loaded .45-caliber handgun and a dismantled cell phone with two SIM cards. The cell phone contained a series of text messages related to Burr’s distribution of cocaine and marijuana to at least three people in Boone County.

Burr had a prior criminal history involving drugs and guns. According to court documents, in 1986 (at age 18), he was convicted of felonies for selling marijuana and secobarbital. He had felony convictions for driving while intoxicated at age 29, unlawful use of a weapon (a golf club) at age 38 and another DWI at age 41. He also had a misdemeanor assault conviction at age 45, and received concurrent sentences for second-degree burglary, stealing and possession of methamphetamine at age 46.

Burr admitted that he began drinking and using marijuana as a teenager, and used or tried to use methamphetamine from age 46 to the day of his arrest. He has also been a heavy user of cocaine.

The Columbia Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated the case.