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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


JOHN F. WOOD



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



APRIL 16, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


TWO MEN SENTENCED TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR

DRUG-TRAFFICKING, ILLEGAL FIREARMS


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that two Kansas City, Mo., men were sentenced in federal court today for their involvement in a drug-trafficking conspiracy and for illegally possessing firearms.


             Dayron Johnson, 23, and Carlos R. Brandon, 30, both of Kansas City, were each sentenced by U.S. District Judge Ortrie D. Smith to life plus five years in federal prison without parole. Johnson was sentenced to two life terms plus 30 years, all to be served concurrently, plus five years to be served consecutively. Brandon was sentenced to two life terms to be served concurrently, plus five years to be served consecutively.


             Johnson and Brandon were convicted by a federal jury on Nov. 17, 2006, for participating in a conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of crack cocaine between July 1 and Dec. 8, 2004, in Jackson County, Mo. Brandon was also found guilty of participating in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine during that time.


             In addition to the conspiracy conviction, Johnson was 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. Brandon was also 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.


             Co-defendant Jessie Andrews, 29, of Kansas City, was sentenced on Feb. 23, 2007, to seven years and 10 months in federal prison without parole. On Nov. 15, 2005, Andrews pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine, and to possessing numerous firearms in furtherance of the drug-trafficking conspiracy.


             Co-defendant Darneice Johnson was sentenced on Feb. 27, 2007, to 10 months in federal prison without parole. Johnson pleaded guilty on April 13, 2006, to maintaining a place for the purpose of storing, distributing and using cocaine and crack cocaine.


             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, 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.


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


             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. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 6, 2007.


             Ellis, 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. Ellis and Dayron Johnson 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.


             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.


            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