News and Press Releases

kC man sentenced to life in prison for crack cocaine conspiracy

August 30, 2011

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kansas City, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for his role in a conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine.

Deondre Cordell Higgins, 35, of Kansas City, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Ortrie D. Smith to life in federal prison without parole.

On Sept. 27, 2010, Higgins was found guilty following a bench trial of participating in a conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine in Jackson County, Mo., from Jan. 1, 2005, to Nov. 18, 2008. Higgins was also convicted of distributing crack cocaine.

Evidence introduced during the trial indicated that Higgins had hundreds of customers and sold large quantities of crack cocaine. Undercover police detectives purchased crack cocaine from Higgins and several co-defendants. Higgins and coconspirators distributed up to five kilograms of crack cocaine in Jackson County. Higgins also paid prostitutes who worked for him with crack cocaine.

Higgins is the final defendant to be sentenced in this case. Four co-defendants pleaded guilty to their roles in the drug-trafficking conspiracy and have been sentenced.

In addition to the conspiracy, co-defendants Darl D. Denson, also known as “Triple D,” 48, and Shellie A. Chavis, also known as Shellie A. Shirah, 40, who shared a residence in Kansas City, Mo., each pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and to distributing crack cocaine. Chavis also admitted that she paid prostitutes who worked for her with crack cocaine.

Denson was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison without parole. Chavis was sentenced to five years in federal prison without parole. DeCarlos Lytell Walker, 46, of Kansas City, was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison without parole. Stacie Marie Emmerich, 36, of Independence, Mo., was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison without parole.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bruce Rhoades. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department.

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