News and Press Releases

kC man pleads guilty to shooting, meth conspiracy;
faces 12 years in federal prison

January4, 2012

KANSAS CITY, Mo. B Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kansas City, Mo., man who shot another man during a home invasion robbery pleaded guilty in federal court today to the shooting and to his role in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

Jason M. Keeton, 31, of Kansas City, pleaded guilty before U.S. Chief District Judge Fernando J. Gaitan to one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and one count of using a firearm in a drug-trafficking conspiracy.

By pleading guilty today, Keeton admitted that he shot John Craig, a Kansas City, Mo., resident, while attempting to steal methamphetamine and cash from Craig’s residence.

Co-defendant Steven M. Martin, 57, also of Kansas City, owed Craig several thousand dollars for purchases of methamphetamine. Martin, Keeton and several others believed that if they could steal Craig’s cash and drugs, they could each make a significant amount of money, some of which they could apply to drug debts by paying Craig back with his own money or profits from the sale of his own drugs.

As part of the plan, Craig was invited to an accomplice’s house to drink and play pool on the evening of May 22, 2010. While Craig was out of the house, Keeton and an accomplice entered the residence but were unable to find the stash of drugs and money. When Craig returned home, Keeton and the accomplice confronted him. During this confrontation, Keeton shot and wounded Craig and conspirators stole methamphetamine and money from him.

Martin, along with co-defendants John O. Younce, 38, Steven L. Younce, 30, and Vernon Tennison, Jr., 29, all of Kansas City, have also pleaded guilty.

Under the terms of today’s plea agreement, the government and Keeton agree that a sentence of 12 years and six months in federal prison without parole is an appropriate sentence in this case. 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 Charles E. Ambrose, Jr. It was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department.

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