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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 25, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


ASSISTANT U.S. ATTORNEY HONORED

FOR NARCOTICS PROSECUTION


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that Assistant U.S. Attorney Jane Pansing Brown has been honored for making significant contributions to reducing drug trafficking in the region.


            The Midwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), a program of the Office of National Drug Control Policy to combat drug trafficking in a six-state region, presented Brown with the Outstanding Prosecutor Award for 2007 in recognition of her prosecution of a significant drug trafficking organization in the Kansas City metropolitan area. This annual award recognizes individuals who consistently utilize innovative and successful prosecution approaches in support of HIDTA task force operations and who utilize cooperative law enforcement ideals to achieve investigative success.


            “I am pleased to congratulate Jane Brown on this prestigious and well-earned recognition,” said Wood. “Her commitment to the cause of justice, and the hard work that she and her team of legal professionals and law enforcement officers exhibit on a daily basis, has had a significant impact on our community. This award is a reflection of the caliber of dedicated staff who serve the citizens of the Western District of Missouri.”


            In May 2006, Brown began working with Drug Enforcement Administration agents on the investigation of a Mexican restaurant which, from suspicious banking activity reports, appeared to be depositing more money than it earned from legitimate sales. Seven wiretaps and a year and a half later, in April 2007, a federal grand jury returned an indictment against 15 defendants that alleges a conspiracy to distribute 180 kilograms of cocaine, money laundering, and the forfeiture of almost $2 million in assets.


            Operation Super Chicken was so successful that it had a drastic impact on the cost and availability of cocaine throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area, David Barton, director of Midwest HIDTA, said in presenting the award.


            “Through her dual focus and equal emphasis on financial and narcotics aspects of the case,” Barton said, “the investigation was able to uncover not only the massive cocaine distribution conspiracy – which was linked directly back to a Mexican source of supply – but also to facilitate the seizure of approximately $1 million as well as securing lis pendens on 11 properties in Kansas City and central Missouri with a value of approximately $700,000.”


            Brown effectively brought together a team of nine drug investigators (DEA agents, IRS-CI agents, DEA task force agents, Jackson County Drug Task Force officers and Kansas City police officers) and four financial analysts, all representing different agencies.


            “Brown’s leadership and guidance throughout the investigation, indictment and seizure stages of this high-profile asset forfeiture case allowed the team to shut down one of Kansas City’s most potent drug trafficking rings in recent history,” Barton said.


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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