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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


JANUARY 23, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


KANSAS MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO ASSAULT

IN POST OFFICE ARMED ROBBERY


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Lenexa, Kan., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to assaulting postal employees during the armed robbery of a post office in south Kansas City.


             Jesse Cardell Melton, 19, of Lenexa, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Scott O. Wright this morning to the charge contained in an Aug. 7, 2007, federal indictment.


             By pleading guilty today, Melton admitted that he aided and abetted others to assault postal employees on May 12, 2007, with the intent to steal at gunpoint the property of the United States at the Longview Post Office, 8800 Raytown Rd., Kansas City.


             Co-defendant Tony J. Lee, 19, of Shawnee, Kan., pleaded guilty to his role in the robbery on Jan. 3, 2008.


             Melton and Lee, armed with handguns, entered the post office at about 12:20 p.m. on May 12, 2007. The facility was open for normal operation, with two 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 stayed in the lobby and contained the postal employees and customers with the use of his gun, while Melton jumped over the counter and removed $1,769 from two cash drawers.


            Under federal statutes, Melton and Lee each could be subject to a sentence of up to 25 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.


            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