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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


AUGUST 7, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


KC MAN, TWO KANSAS MEN INDICTED FOR ASSAULT

IN POST OFFICE ARMED ROBBERY


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kansas City, Mo., man and two Kansas men were indicted by a federal grand jury today for assaulting postal employees during the armed robbery of a post office in south Kansas City.


             Robert E. Newsome, Jr., 33, of Kansas City, Tony J. Lee, 19, of Shawnee, Kan., and Jesse Cardell Melton, 19, Lenexa, Kan., were charged with assault with intent to rob a post office in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Kansas City. Today’s indictment replaces a federal criminal complaint that was filed against Newsome on July 10, 2007.


             Today’s indictment alleges that Newsome, Lee and Melton aided and abetted each other to assault postal employees on May 12, 2007, with the intent to steal at gunpoint mail matter, money, and other property of the United States at the Longview Post Office, 8800 Raytown Rd., Kansas City.


             According to an affidavit filed in support of the original criminal complaint, Lee and Melton, armed with handguns, entered the post office at about 12:20 p.m. on Saturday, May 12, 2007. The facility was open for normal operation, with three postal workers at the front counter assisting two customers at the time of the robbery. A third customer was in the adjacent post office box section. Lee allegedly stayed in the lobby, pointing his firearm at the postal employees and customers, while Melton allegedly jumped over the counter and removed cash and a money order from two cash drawers.


             When a customer tried to sneak out of the post office, the affidavit says, she was confronted by Newsome, who was brandishing a gun, outside the post office. Newsome allegedly tried to get her keys, striking her on the back of the neck and knocking her to the ground. All three defendants allegedly got into a vehicle and sped away from the post office.


             According to the affidavit, the loss sustained by the Postal Service was $1,769.


            Wood cautioned that the charge contained in the indictment is simply an accusation, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charge must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.


            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Roseann Ketchmark. It was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

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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