News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 14, 2006

VIPER Update:
First VIPER Case Sentenced

KANSAS CITY, MO– Preston L. Grubbs, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration St. Louis Division Office, and Todd P. Graves, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that Kansas City, Missouri, resident Elijah I Jones was sentenced in federal court today for possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine. Additionally, Jones was sentenced for illegally possessing a firearm. Today’s sentence, Graves said, stems from the first case charged under VIPER, the joint initiative with the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department to combat violent crime in Kansas City.

Elijah I. Jones, 24, of Kansas City, was sentenced by United States District Judge Gary A. Fenner this afternoon to six years and nine months in federal prison without parole.

On Aug. 29, 2005, Jones plead guilty to being in possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine on May 6, 2005, in Jackson County, Missouri. Jones also pleaded guilty to being in possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime. Jones was in possession of a Norinco MAK-90 semi-automatic rifle on May 6, 2003, in Jackson County.

Jones was initially arrested as law enforcement officers executed a search warrant on his residence on May 6, 2003. At the time law enforcement officers approached the home, Jones was in a vehicle that was parked at the residence. Upon approaching the vehicle and residence, law enforcement officers ordered Jones and others on the ground and they complied. Subsequently, the officers then conducted a search of the vehicle, where they located in plain view the AK-47-style firearm and a clear plastic bag containing crack cocaine.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Charles E. Ambrose, Jr. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Marshal’s Service.

VIPER

VIPER – Violent Incident Proactive Enterprise Response is a joint initiative between the United States Attorney’s Office, the Kansas City Police Department and federal law enforcement, designed to proactively combat violent crime in Kansas City by targeting suspected gang members, drug traffickers and other violent criminals brought to the attention of law enforcement officers as a result of a Kansas City Police Department’s homicide investigation.

Requests for additional information should be directed to Group Supervisor Phillip A. Jacobs or Public Information Officer Special Agent Shirley Armstead at 314-538-4600.

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