News and Press Releases

kC man convicted of operating drug house

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 27, 2012

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - David M. Ketchmark, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kansas City, Mo., man was convicted in federal court today of using his residence as a place to distribute crack cocaine. This is the defendant’s second federal conviction this month following two bench trials in separate cases before two different judges.

Lonnie Goodrich, also known as “Daniel Watkins” and “Verdell Goodrich,” 58, of Kansas City, was found guilty today following a two-day bench trial before U.S. District Judge Gary A. Fenner that concluded on Tuesday, April 24, 2012.

Goodrich was found guilty of maintaining a drug house at his residence from Dec. 14, 2006, to Sept. 23, 2009, for the use and distribution of crack cocaine.

Law enforcement investigators became aware of sales of crack cocaine occurring on the 4600 block of Chestnut in Kansas City, Mo., and initiated an investigation that included surveillance and controlled drug buys. Numerous drug buys occurred each day, usually across the street from Goodrich’s residence. At least 50 vehicles per day stopped to purchase crack cocaine from dealers. Dealers often returned to Goodrich’s residence between sales. Customers sometimes entered Goodrich’s residence to purchase crack cocaine and sometimes smoked their purchases inside the residence. Dealers used the residence to chop up and package their crack cocaine and get out of the weather.

Evidence introduced at trial indicated that dealers were required to pay Goodrich for the use of his residence. These payments were in the form of “dime rocks” of crack cocaine ($10 rocks) from dealers in the morning, as well as payments later in the day, depending on business. When Goodrich was arrested and incarcerated for several months in an unrelated case, he left instructions that his girlfriend would continue receiving those payments on his behalf.

Officers executed a federal search warrant at Goodrich’s residence on Sept. 23, 2009. They found five different kinds of ammunition, drug paraphernalia, crack cocaine, marijuana and digital scales.

Goodrich was also found guilty on April 4, 2012, following an earlier bench trial, of participating in a conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine in Jackson County, Mo., from Jan. 1, 2007, to Sept. 28, 2009. The drug-trafficking conspiracy, which was charged in a separate case that resulted from the investigation, primarily operated in the 4600 block of Chestnut Avenue in Kansas City, Mo. According to evidence introduced at trial, Goodrich sold crack cocaine from his residence on Chestnut Avenue. The conspiracy is estimated to have generated $300,000 in drug proceeds, which Goodrich and his nine co-defendants must forfeit to the government.

Under federal statutes, Goodrich is subject to a sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison without parole on today’s conviction, plus a fine up to $500,000. Goodrich is also subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison without parole, up to life in federal prison without parole, on the drug-trafficking conspiracy conviction. A sentencing hearing in that case is scheduled for July 31, 2012, before U.S. District Judge Ortrie D. Smith.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David DeTar Newbert and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel D. Royce. It was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the NITRO Task Force.

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