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Press Release

Independence Man Indicted for Illegal Firearm Following Police Chase

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Missouri

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – An Independence, Mo., man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for illegally possessing a firearm after fleeing from police officers in a stolen pick-up truck.

Duke A. Yates, 35, was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Mo., on Tuesday, Jan. 23. The federal indictment replaces a federal criminal complaint that was filed against Yates on Dec. 26, 2023.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the original criminal complaint, Yates was driving a stolen 2007 Ford F350 pick-up truck that had been used in the armed robberies of a Quik Trip and a Walgreen’s, both in Independence, within 10 minutes of each other at about 2:30 a.m. on Dec. 25, 2023. A police officer spotted the vehicle traveling north on E. Pitcher Road near Blue Ridge Cutoff in Independence.

Yates immediately initiated a pursuit that reached speeds over 100 miles per hour. During the pursuit, the affidavit says, the truck failed to stop for posted stop signs and drove over medians. The truck slid onto 23rd Street facing eastbound in the westbound lanes, causing another motorist to drive onto the shoulder to avoid a collision. Yates drove into oncoming traffic and veered at a marked police vehicle that was attempting to deploy stop sticks.

Yates failed to negotiate a turn at 24911 E. Truman Road and went offroad, colliding with a power pole and breaking it at the base. Yates fled on foot, the affidavit says, and resisted arrest while being taken into custody.

Officers searched the stolen truck and found a Glock 9mm semi-automatic handgun on the driver’s floorboard.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Yates has two prior felony convictions for possession of a controlled substance and prior felony convictions for robbery, tampering with a motor vehicle, theft, resisting arrest, property damage, and distributing drugs.

The charge contained in this indictment is simply an accusation, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charge must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon Gibson. It was investigated by the Independence, Mo., Police Department.

Project Safe Neighborhoods

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

Updated January 24, 2024

Project Safe Neighborhoods