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Three more indicted on conspiracy to drug trafficking | USAO-WDMO

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Three other defendants were indicted as part of an investigation into an armed and violent drug trafficking organization operating in the Kansas City, Missouri metro area.

Anthony D. Harris, 40, and Latrell O. Dean, 19, both of Grandview, Mo., and Seville S. Gardner, 37, address unknown, were indicted in a 112-count substitute charge returned under seal by a federal grand jury on Tuesday, January 24. The indictment, which opened today following Gardner’s arrest, replaces an indictment returned March 1, 2022, with three additional defendants and 28 additional counts. Dean was already in law enforcement custody on a separate, but related matter.

In addition to Harris, Dean, and Gardner, the replacement prosecutor’s office retains 24 defendants charged in the original prosecutor’s office: Kevin C. Cokes, also known as “Big K” and “Uncle”, 61, Mercedez M. Gardner, also known as “Twin ”, 37, November D. Gardner, also known as “October” and “Nuttie”, 24, Idella Gardner, also known as “Wolves”, 35, Delmar L. Hatcher, 52, Nathaniel B. Chapple, 25, Treandre R Walker, 25, Hazel M. Berymon, 65, Carlton L. Burns, also known as “Pooder”, 25, Christopher J. Hicks-Berry, 36, Kyeir C. Theus, 36, Tony L. Davis, 53, Michael R. Parks, 63, Brian T. Boxly, 46, Parris J. Walker, 28, Jachobette J. Gardner, 43, Reginald L. Mitchem, 43, Martell C. Cratch, 31, Matthew Rogers, 60, Gloria Hutchinson, 38 , Eddie L. Nicholson, Jr., also known as “Junior”, 55, Toneisha R. Blackmon, 30, and Shania N. Bailey, 24, all of Kansas City, Mo., and Deone D. Gardner, also known as “Twin,” 29, of Belton, Mo.

Two defendants charged in the original indictment, Eliot E. Cox, 33, and Anthony D. Stuckey, 67, both of Kansas City, Mo., are barred from this week’s replacement indictment as they have already pleaded guilty to the charges contained in the original indictment indictment.

Among the charges added to the substitute charge is one count of conspiracy to tamper with a witness. November Gardner and Deone Gardner allegedly conspired to use physical force against an undercover agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to influence or prevent the undercover agent from testifying at their trial.

The substitute prosecution alleges that 26 of the 27 defendants participated in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine, fentanyl and marijuana in Jackson County. Cokes is accused of participating in a separate, but related, conspiracy to distribute cocaine.

Harris and Gardner are the only ones charged with drug trafficking conspiracy. Dean is also charged with participating in a robbery conspiracy with Walker, one count of the armed robbery of a Dollar General store in Raytown, Mo., one count of using a firearm during a felony of violence ( the Dollar General robbery), a charge of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute it, and a charge of possession of a firearm in support of a drug trafficking offense. Dean allegedly possessed a 9mm Glock pistol in support of the drug trafficking conspiracy and in support of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute it.

In total, in addition to the two counts of conspiracy to drug trafficking and conspiracy to witness tampering, various defendants are charged with two counts of conspiracy to armed robbery, three counts of business robbery (two Family Dollar robberies in Kansas City and the Dollar General robbery in Raytown), 23 counts of drug trafficking, 30 counts of illegal possession of a firearm, one count of destroying a motor vehicle in a drive-by shooting, and 50 counts of illegal use of a telephone to facilitate a drug trafficking conspiracy.

According to court documents, in April 2021 the ATF began investigating an armed drug trafficking organization operating primarily in eastern Kansas City, Missouri. Members have been known to sell marijuana, crack cocaine, powdered cocaine, purported Ecstasy pills, purported Percocet pills, counterfeit fentanyl pills), and purported OxyContin pills. Members have been known to carry firearms and commit acts of violence. Court records say the organization is linked to at least two shootings in which three victims were injured.

As a result of that year-long investigation and subsequent indictments, more than 200 law enforcement officers from the ATF, Drug Enforcement Administration, US Marshals Service, Kansas City, Mo. and the Independence, Mo., Police Department participated in an operation on March 8 and 9, 2022, resulting in the arrests of 25 defendants. Officers seized 27 firearms, 1,877 rounds of ammunition, more than 25 pounds of marijuana, 12 ounces of cocaine, 1 ounce of other illegal drugs, and $34,439 in cash.

The charges contained in this indictment are mere allegations and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal jury, whose job it is to determine guilt or innocence.

This case is being pursued by Assistant US Attorney Byron H. Black and Special Assistant US Attorney Stephanie C. Bradshaw. They were investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Kansas City, Mo., Police Department, Drug Enforcement Administration, US Marshals Service, Independence, Mo., Police Department, Missouri State Highway Patrol, Buchanan County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, Johnson County, Kan., Sheriff’s Department and St. Joseph, Mo., Police Department.

KC Metro Strike Force

This prosecution was initiated as part of the Department of Justice Against Organized Crime and Counter-Drugs (OCDETF) Co-located Strike Forces Initiative, which provides for the establishment of permanent multi-agency task forces working side by side in the same position. This co-located model allows agents from different agencies to collaborate in intelligence-driven multi-jurisdictional operations against a continuum of priority targets and their affiliated illicit financial networks. These co-located prosecutor-led strike forces capitalize on the synergy created through the long-term relationships that can be forged by agents, analysts and prosecutors that remain together over time, and embody the model that has proven most effective in fight against crime organization. The primary mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking organizations, transnational criminal organizations, and money laundering organizations that pose a significant threat to U.S. public, economic, or national security.

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