three men charged with conspiring to rob grocery store, illegal possession of firearms;
complaint alleges connection with string of recentgrocery store robberies
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that two Kansas City, Missouri men and a Bethany, Missouri man were charged Monday in federal court with conspiring to commit robbery and with illegally possessing multiple firearms in connection with a recent string of grocery store robberies.
Jeremiah Kraushaar, 31, of Bethany, Javon Turner, 35, of Kansas City, and Finis Richardson, 35, of Kansas City, were charged in a two-count complaint filed in the Western District of Missouri with one count of conspiring to rob an Apple Market grocery store in Kansas City, Missouri, and one count of being felons in possession of firearms.
According to an affidavit filed in support of the complaint, multiple law enforcement agencies have been investigating a series of at least six grocery store robberies across Northwest Missouri. The robberies began in September 2010. Victim stores include locations in Kansas City, Odessa, Bethany, and Raytown. Certain common characteristics of the robberies were captured by the stores’ surveillance cameras, including the robbers entering the stores in the early morning when employees were opening the business, forcibly restraining employees with zip-ties, and using walkie-talkies and cellular phones during the robberies. After law enforcement released footage from the surveillance video of an October 3, 2010, robbery of the Apple Market in Raytown, an anonymous tip to the 474-TIPS hotline led police to Javon Turner. Authorities began conducting surveillance, the affidavit stated.
On December 17 and 18, 2010, according to the affidavit, police witnessed the defendants drive to the vicinity of the Apple Market located at 1215 Emanuel Cleaver in Kansas City, Missouri. Both mornings, defendants allegedly drove to the store, where they appeared to be observing the store’s opening procedures. On December 19, 2010, at approximately 5:00 a.m., law enforcement officers conducting surveillance on Turner allegedly observed a maroon Mazda sedan leave Turner’s residence. It was occupied by three individuals, identified in the affidavit as Turner, Richardson and Kraushaar. The Mazda allegedly drove directly to the vicinity of the Apple Market and parked. Law enforcement officers then attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle. As officers approached with emergency lights activated, the Mazda allegedly fled at a high rate of speed. A car pursuit occurred, and law enforcement officers allegedly observed items being thrown from the vehicle. The affidavit states that police were able to disable the fleeing vehicle. The three occupants then allegedly fled on foot. Police soon apprehended the suspects and placed them into custody. Police then canvassed the route along which the pursuit occurred. Police discovered black zip ties, a ski mask, a gun belt, a Colt .45 caliber handgun, and a Glock .40 caliber handgun along the route. Video surveillance from some of the grocery store robberies shows that one of the robbers used a Glock pistol.
A search of the maroon Mazda revealed black zip ties, bank bags, a ski mask, and a Savage .410 double-barreled shotgun, according to the affidavit. The affidavit also describes how a search of Kraushaar’s hotel room revealed black zip ties, gun boxes, and a map of Missouri with significant locations circled, which the affidavit states were locations Kraushaar had “cased.” A search of Turner’s residence at 2632 Euclid, Kansas City, revealed an SKS rifle, the affidavit continued.
Under federal statutes, the defendants are subject to sentences of up to 30 years in federal prison without parole, plus fines up to $500,000 and orders of restitution.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney D. Michael Green. It is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department - Career Criminal Unit; the Independence, Missouri Police Department - Career Criminal Unit; the Wichita, Kansas Police Department; the Odessa, Missouri Police Department; and the Raytown, Missouri Police Department.
Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition.
Phillips cautioned that the charges contained in the criminal complaint are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.
Project Ceasefire, launched in October 1999, is a cooperative initiative by federal and local law enforcement and the Kansas City Crime Commission that targets for federal prosecution persons who unlawfully use or possess firearms.