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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


BRADLEY J. SCHLOZMAN



Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html



FEBRUARY 23, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


KC MAN SENTENCED FOR DRUG-TRAFFICKING,

ILLEGAL FIREARMS


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Bradley J. Schlozman, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kansas City, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for his involvement in a drug-trafficking conspiracy and for illegally possessing numerous firearms.


             Jessie Andrews, 29, of Kansas City, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Ortrie D. Smith this morning to seven years and 10 months in federal prison without parole.


             On Nov. 15, 2005, Andrews pleaded guilty to his role in a conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of crack cocaine between July 1 and Dec. 8, 2004 in Jackson County, Mo., and to possessing numerous firearms in furtherance of the drug-trafficking conspiracy.


             Co-defendant Darneice Johnson pleaded guilty on April 13, 2006, to maintaining a place for the purpose of storing, distributing and using cocaine and crack cocaine. A sentencing hearing for Darneice Johnson is scheduled for Feb. 27, 2007.


             Law enforcement officers responded to the residence of Andrews and Darneice Johnson on Sept. 13, 2004, in regard to a drive-by shooting. When officers arrived, Schlozman said, they observed many weapons and drug-related items in plain view. In a search of the residence officers recovered 159 grams of crack cocaine, 365 grams of powder cocaine, nine handguns, three assault rifles and $70,257 in cash.


             Co-defendants Carlos R. Brandon, 30, Dayron Johnson, 23, both of Kansas City, were convicted by a federal jury on Nov. 17, 2006, for participating in the conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine. Brandon was also found guilty of participating in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine during that time.


             In addition to the conspiracy conviction, Brandon was found guilty of possession with the intent to distribute five grams or more of crack cocaine and carrying a firearm in relation to a drug-trafficking crime on Sept. 29, 2004. Johnson was also found guilty of distributing crack cocaine, possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of crack cocaine, being a felon in possession of a firearm and carrying a firearm in relation to a drug-trafficking crime on Dec. 8, 2004.


             All of the co-defendants will forfeit to the government $70,257 that was seized during the execution of a search warrant.


             Brandon was arrested on Sept. 29, 2004, following a high-speed pursuit. When officers attempted to stop the GMC sport utility vehicle in which Brandon was a passenger, the car sped through several stop signs before driving off the street and through a road sign at the corner of 28th and Holmes. The vehicle then tuned southbound and went up an alley, but was blocked by a large utility truck. Brandon jumped out of the passenger door with an assault rifle in his hand. When officers ordered him to stop and drop his weapon, Brandon threw the rifle down and began to run, also tossing a handgun as he ran. Brandon was shot with a taser and apprehended.


             Co-defendant Phillip Ellis, 23, of Kansas City, pleaded guilty on April 13, 2006, to his role in the conspiracy and to aiding and abetting the possession with the intent to distribute crack cocaine. Ellis also admitted that he, along with passenger Dayron Johnson, led police officers on a high-speed pursuit on Dec. 8, 2004, when officers attempted to stop his vehicle following the controlled sale of crack cocaine to a confidential informant. During this chase, Ellis drove his Nissan Altima in front of a police tactical van, striking the van, then running the Altima up onto a sidewalk and crashing into a tree. Defendants fled on foot, but were caught and detained. Due to shortness of breath, Dayron Johnson requested his asthma inhaler from his jacket inside the vehicle. When looking in the jacket pocket for the inhaler, detectives also found 21.57 grams of crack cocaine. Also in plain view inside the Altima was a Glock 9 mm handgun with an extended clip and an Interarms 9 mm semi-automatic handgun on the driver’s seat, and a 7.62 assault rifle on the back seat floorboard.


            Under federal statutes, Johnson and Brandon each could be subject to a mandatory sentence of life in federal prison without parole. Sentencing hearings will be scheduled after the completion of presentence investigations by the United States Probation Office.


            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregg Coonrod and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Marcus. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department.


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This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html