News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 9, 2010
Contact: Thomas E. Murphy
Number: (314)538-4660

Four Cut Throat Gang Members Sentenced for Drug Trafficking,
Illegal Firearms

APR 9 - (JEFFERSON CITY, MO) Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that four Columbia, Mo., men were sentenced in federal court on April 8, 2010, for their involvement in illegal drug trafficking and firearms violations in association with the Cut Throats gang.

Koda Alshawn Coats, 23, his brother, Eric Sherron Coats, 22, Demarco Laron Burnett, 25, and Cheviss Caron Denny, 22, all of Columbia, were sentenced before U.S. District Judge Nanette K. Laughrey. Koda Coats was sentenced to 18 years and four months in federal prison without parole. Eric Coats was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison without parole. Burnett and Denny were each sentenced to 10 years in federal prison without parole.

Eric Coats and Denny each pled guilty to their roles in a conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine and powder cocaine from January 2007 to January 2009.  

Eric Coats and Denny also pled guilty to their roles in a conspiracy to illegally possess and to aid and abet others to illegally possess firearms and to possess firearms in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime. Eric Coats also pleaded guilty to possessing firearms in furtherance of a drug-trafficking conspiracy.

Koda Coats pleaded guilty to possession with the intent to distribute crack cocaine. Koda Coats also admitted that he was involved in drug trafficking with members of the Cut Throats gang.

Burnett pleaded guilty to two counts of distributing crack cocaine.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anthony P. Gonzalez and Lawrence E. Miller and Boone County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Steven Berry, who has been appointed a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney to assist in this prosecution. It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Columbia Police Department, the Boone County Prosecutor’s Office, the Boone County Sheriff’s Department, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Missouri Department of Corrections, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.