OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106
APRIL 13, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CUT THROATS GANG
FIVE COLUMBIA MEN SENTENCED FOR DRIVE-BY SHOOTING,
DRUG TRAFFICKING, ILLEGAL FIREARMS
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that five Columbia, Mo., men have been sentenced for their involvement in illegal drug trafficking and firearms in association with the Cut Throats gang.
William Ricky Boyd, 22, Robert Darnell Simmons, 37, Dametrell Koda Washington, 28, and Tarron Montez Cason, 27, all of Columbia, were sentenced in separate hearings today before U.S. District Judge Nanette K. Laughrey. Dajuan Anthony Harris, 26, of Columbia, was sentenced on Monday, April 12, 2010. Boyd was sentenced to 10 years and 10 months in federal prison without parole. Simmons was sentenced to seven years and 10 months in federal prison without parole. Washington was sentenced to six years and three months in federal prison without parole. Cason was sentenced to five years in federal prison without parole. Harris was sentenced to nine years and two months in federal prison without parole.
Washington and Cason each pleaded guilty to his role in a conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine, powder cocaine and marijuana from January 2007 to January 2009. During that time period, they admitted, conspirators moved at least a kilogram of powder cocaine and at least half a kilogram of crack cocaine. They also admitted that they were involved in drug trafficking with members of the Cut Throats gang, which was involved in distributing narcotics, possessing firearms, passing firearms between themselves and using firearms to promote their drug trafficking operation and to protect themselves. Washington also pleaded guilty to possessing firearms in furtherance of a drug-trafficking conspiracy.
Boyd and Simmons, who also admitted to being involved in the Cut Throats gang, were involved in a drive-by shooting that occurred on May 31, 2008, at a Petro Mart gas station at 3300 Falling Leaf in Columbia. The shooting was in retaliation for an earlier incident in which a rival gang had shot a member of the Cut Throats. About a year earlier, on June 2, 2007, a member of the Louie Bound group shot a member of the Cut Throats at a Break Time gas station on Smiley Lane in Columbia, in part due to a territorial dispute over the unlawful distribution of crack and powder cocaine. Boyd and Cason admitted they were involved in or aware of discussions among members of the Cut Throats to get revenge and shoot the person they believed was responsible.
Simmons drove Boyd and other Cut Throats members to the gas station on May 31, 2008, to get revenge and to intimidate rivals of their unlawful drug-trafficking operation. Boyd, a passenger in the car, shot into the crowded lot, then Simmons drove away. Co-defendant Brandon James Isom, 20, of Columbia, who was in a separate car, also shot a firearm at the person they mistakenly believed had shot their associate. There were several persons on the crowded lot at the time of the shooting. The individual, who actually was not the person they believed had shot their associate, was hit in the face.
Boyd pleaded guilty to his involvement in a drive-by shooting in furtherance of a major drug offense, as well as to using a firearm during a crime of violence.
Simmons pleaded guilty to his role in a conspiracy to illegally possess firearms in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime and a crime of violence, and to possess firearms with the intent to intimidate or injure another person and to fire a weapon into a group of people. Simmons also pleaded guilty to possession with the intent to distribute crack cocaine.
On July 8, 2009, Harris pleaded guilty to using a telephone to facilitate a conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine and to being a felon in possession of firearms. Harris and co-defendant Eric Sherron Coats, 22, of Columbia, were overheard during a recorded telephone conversation talking about obtaining narcotics. Coats wanted to make sure he could get some “raw” cocaine, and Harris replied that he could get it if his source had some. Coats was sentenced on April 8, 2010, to 15 years in federal prison without parole.
About two weeks after that recorded conversation, a search warrant was executed at the home of Harris’ father. Law enforcement officers seized a Glock handgun from under a mattress in a bedroom and an AK 47 .22-caliber rifle from inside a bedroom closet in a different room. Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Harris has a prior felony convictions for drug trafficking and possession of a controlled substance.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anthony P. Gonzalez and Lawrence E. Miller and Boone County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Steven Berry, who has been appointed a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney to assist in this prosecution. It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Columbia, Mo., Police Department, the Boone County, Mo., Prosecutor’s Office, the Boone County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Mo. Department of Corrections and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
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