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Sedalia Residents Among 37 Indicted for $1 Million Drug-Trafficking Conspiracies, Illegal Firearms

A law enforcement officer prepares for the arrest of several Sedalia citizens as part of “Operation Coin Collecter.” Photo by Kevin Walker.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that 37 defendants – including 23 Sedalia, Mo., residents and eight Johnson County, Mo., residents – have been indicted in six separate but related cases for their roles in drug-trafficking conspiracies that distributed more than $1 million worth of cocaine and crack cocaine, as well as illegally possessing firearms.

Operation Coin Collector was a two-year investigation launched by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in partnership with the ATF-led JOLT (Joint Operations Law Enforcement Team) Task Force, comprised of the Sedalia, Warrensburg and Warsaw police departments and the Pettis County, Hickory County, Henry County, Johnson County and Benton County sheriff’s departments. The investigation focused on significant violent crime and drug-trafficking activity in the Sedalia area. As a result of the federal investigation, three indictments were returned under seal by a federal grand jury on Oct. 16, 2013. Three more indictments were returned under seal by a federal grand jury on Nov. 12, 2013.

ATF agents, members of the JOLT Task Force, the U.S. Marshal’s Service, police officers from Knob Noster, Independence, Columbia, and Kansas City, Mo., the Boone County Sheriff’s Department, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Airwing participated in a law enforcement sweep that began early this morning and resulted in 28 arrests and the execution of five search warrants in Sedalia. Five defendants are already in custody for unrelated cases and four defendants are fugitives. All six of the sealed indictments were unsealed and made public today upon the arrests and initial court appearances of a number of defendants. Four defendants are already in custody in separate and unrelated cases.

USA v. Staten, et al

William M. Staten, also known as “Bugs,” 39, Sarandon A. Staten, also known as “Ran,” 19, Robert D. Ballance, also known as “Bass,” 30, Gordon E. Hawkins, also known as “Fresh,” 24, Ronald W. Spencer, 68, and Katherine A. Mazari, 50, all of Sedalia, and Ansley E. Sims, 29, of Columbia, Mo., were charged in a 14-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Kansas City on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013.

The federal indictment alleges that each of the defendants participated in a conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and/or 280 grams or more of crack cocaine from Oct. 5, 2011, to Nov. 4, 2013.

In addition to the conspiracy, Ballance and Sarandon Staten are charged together in one count of aiding and abetting each other to distribute crack cocaine. Ballance is also charged with two counts of distributing crack cocaine. William Staten is also charged with one count of possessing cocaine with the intent to distribute.

Ballance, Hawkins, Mazari, Sims, Spencer and Sarandon Staten are each also charged with one count of using a cell phone to facilitate the distribution of cocaine and/or crack cocaine. William Staten is also charged with two counts of using a cell phone to facilitate the distribution of cocaine and/or crack cocaine.

The indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation, which would require each of the defendants to forfeit to the government any property obtained from the proceeds of the alleged offenses or used to commit the alleged offenses, including a money judgment of $1 million, which was allegedly received in exchange for the unlawful distribution of cocaine and/or crack cocaine.

USA v. Wilson, et al

Brian K. Wilson, also known as “Brazy,” 39, Jeffrey A. Kinner, also known as “P-Nut,” 31, D’Shaun L. Johnson, 19, Devan L. Plakorus, 19, and Janice M. Williams, 41, all of Knob Noster, Mo.; John B. Thomas-Flowers, also known as “J.B.,” 30, and Rashawn D. Cason, 26, both of Blue Springs, Mo.; Jordan L. Wade, also known as “Cali,” 23, Jason L. Jackson, 29, and Connie Sue Kendrick, 46, all of Warrensburg, Mo.; Walter J. Staten, Jr., also known as “Walt Jack,”22, Micah J. Clark, also known as “Dukes,” 32, and Samuel I. Gravitt, 21, all of Sedalia, Mo.; Jeremy D. Peters, also known as “Pun,” 24, of Columbia, Mo.; Kelly L. Buckner, Jr., 22, of Harrisburg, Mo.; and Jacob M. Goans, 20, of Raytown, Mo., were charged in a 27-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Kansas City on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013.

The federal indictment alleges that 14 of the defendants (with the exception of Gravitt and Goans) participated in a conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and 280 grams or more of crack cocaine from Oct. 5, 2011, to June 20, 2013.

In addition to the conspiracy, Wilson and Jackson are charged together in one count of aiding and abetting each other to distribute crack cocaine.

Wilson is also charged with being a felon in possession of firearms. The indictment alleges that Wilson, who has a prior felony conviction, was in possession of eight rifles and two shotguns. Wilson is also charged with possessing 10 stolen firearms.

Wade and Gravitt are each charged with one count of possessing stolen firearms. The indictment alleges that Wade and Gravitt were in possession of a stolen Savage 7mm rifle and a stolen Marlin 30-30 caliber rifle. Gravitt and Wade are each also charged with one count of being a felon in possession of firearms.

Goans is charged with one count of possessing stolen firearms. The indictment alleges that Goans was in possession of 11 stolen firearms, including eight shotguns, one rifle, a Mossberg .410-gauge weapon made from a shotgun and a Baikal 12-gauge/.22-caliber combination gun. Goans is also charged with one count of possessing a sawed-off shotgun.

Wilson is also charged with six counts of using a cell phone to facilitate the distribution of cocaine and/or crack cocaine. Wade, Clark, Staten, Johnson, Williams, Peters, Jackson, Plakorus, Kendrick, Kinner and Thomas-Flowers are each also charged with one count of using a cell phone to facilitate the distribution of cocaine and/or crack cocaine.

The indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation, which would require each of the defendants to forfeit to the government any property obtained from the proceeds of the alleged offenses or used to commit the alleged offenses, including a money judgment of $1 million, which was allegedly received in exchange for the unlawful distribution of cocaine and/or crack cocaine.

USA v. Buckner

Eual T. Buckner, also known as “Big Tommy,” 56, of Sedalia, was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Kansas City on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013.

The federal indictment alleges that Buckner, who has a prior felony conviction, was in possession of a Remington 16-gauge pump-action shotgun.

USA v. Kendrick, et al

Kenneth C. Kendrick, also known as “Kavi,” 40, his father, Lee A. Kendrick, 65, Eric T. Hawkins, also known as “Easy,” 33, Kardell E. Sims, also known as “FU,” 35, George E. Buckner, also known as “Jorge,” 50, Ronald C. Boggs, also known as “Hobbs,” 47, Marvin D. Spruell, 56, and his wife, Vickey J. Spruell, 56, all of Sedalia, were charged in a 12-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury on Oct. 16, 2013.

The federal indictment alleges that each of the defendants participated in conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and/or 280 grams or more of crack cocaine from Oct. 5, 2011, to July 2, 2013.

In addition to the conspiracy, Kenneth Kendrick is charged with five counts of distributing crack cocaine and one count of distributing cocaine. Hawkins is also charged with two counts of distributing crack cocaine. Buckner and Boggs are each also charged with one count of aiding and abetting others to distribute crack cocaine. Kenneth Kendrick, Hawkins and Boggs are also charged together in one count of possessing cocaine with the intent to distribute.

The indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation, which would require all of the defendants to forfeit to the government any property obtained from the alleged violations, including a money judgment of $500,000, which was allegedly received in exchange for the unlawful distribution of cocaine and/or crack cocaine.

USA v. Poindexter, et al

Gordell E. Poindexter, also known as “Fat Man,” 23, Art W. Williams, also known as “Ace,” 25, Demetrius N. Gray, also known as “Meechi,” 29, and Antonio T. Gray, also known as “T,” 29, all of Sedalia, were charged in a 19-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Kansas City on Oct. 16, 2013.

The federal indictment alleges that each of the defendants participated in a conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and/or 280 grams or more of crack cocaine from Oct. 5, 2011, to June 20, 2013.

In addition to the conspiracy, Poindexter is charged with seven counts of distributing crack cocaine and two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm. The indictment alleges that Poindexter, who has a prior felony conviction, was in possession of a Rohm .22-caliber revolver and a Smith & Wesson .44-caliber revolver.

Demetrius Gray is also charged with three counts of distributing crack cocaine and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. The indictment alleges that Demetrius Gray, who has a prior felony conviction, was in possession of a Maadi Model Helwan 9mm pistol.

Williams is also charged with two counts of distributing crack cocaine. Antonio Gray is also charged with one count of distributing crack cocaine.

Williams, Demetrius Gray and Antonio Gray are also charged together in one count aiding and abetting each other to distribute crack cocaine. Williams and Antonio Gray are also charged together in one count of aiding and abetting each other to distribute crack cocaine.

The indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation, which would require each of the defendants to forfeit to the government any property obtained from the proceeds of the alleged violations, including a money judgment of $500,000, which was allegedly received in exchange for the unlawful distribution of cocaine and/or crack cocaine.

USA v. Staten

Marquoi D. Staten, also known as “Scratch,” 21, of Sedalia, was charged in a five-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Kansas City on Oct. 16, 2013.

The federal indictment alleges that Staten participated in a conspiracy to distribute 28 grams or more of crack cocaine from Oct. 5, 2011, to June 5, 2012. In addition to the conspiracy, Staten is charged with four counts of distributing crack cocaine.

The federal indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation, which would require Staten to forfeit to the government any property obtained from the proceeds of the alleged violations or used to commit the alleged violations, including $2,248 that was seized by Sedalia police officers.

Dickinson cautioned that the charges contained in these indictments are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

These cases are being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Sydney Sanders. They were investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the ATF-led JOLT Task Force and the Pettis County, Mo., Prosecutor’s Office.

This press release provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office – Western District of Missouri.

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