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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Missouri

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Independence Man Sentenced to 16 Years for Meth Trafficking, Illegal Firearms

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – An Independence, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for his role in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and for illegally possessing several firearms.

Christopher Dorrell, 36, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gary A. Fenner to 16 years and eight months in federal prison without parole.

On Jan. 18, 2022, Dorrell pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime, and one count of being a felon in possession of firearms.

Dorrell admitted that he distributed at least five kilograms of methamphetamine during the conspiracy that began in 2018 and lasted throughout 2019.

On Feb. 4, 2019, Dorrell was driving a gold 2002 GMC Yukon that was stopped by Kansas City, Mo., police officers as it was leaving a known drug house. When a passenger in the vehicle fled on foot, Dorrell fled in the vehicle. He failed to stop at a stop sign and nearly struck other motorists as he entered the roadway. Officers pursued him and later found the abandoned vehicle near the intersection of 42nd Street and Agnes Avenue. They found a loaded Taurus 9mm semi-automatic pistol on the driver’s seat and a Remington 12-gauge pump action sawed-off shotgun between the front passenger seat and the center console. A Kevlar vest and a large quantity of ammunition in various calibers was in the back seat.

Kansas City police officers arrested Dorrell again on June 11, 2019, when they were contacted by employees of a local hotel, who suspected drug trafficking was occurring in one of the rooms. Dorrell was seen getting into a stolen BMW in the hotel parking lot when officers arrived, and was in the hotel room where officers arrested another person. Officers searched the BMW and found a .22-caliber Henry rifle, a Sig Saur P228, a Taurus .38-special revolver, ammunition, and 146 grams of methamphetamine. Dorrell admitted the firearms and methamphetamine belonged to him.

On Nov. 15, 2019, Dorrell was arrested on a federal warrant in this case. He was in possession of a loaded SCY 9mm handgun that had been reported stolen, a loaded Taurus 9mm handgun and a loaded Ruger .380-caliber semiautomatic handgun.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Dorrell has a prior felony conviction for leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident, as well as 38 misdemeanor convictions.

Dorrell is the fifth defendant in this case to be sentenced. Four co-defendants have pleaded guilty and await sentencing.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Moeder and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Megan Baker. It was investigated by the Independence, Mo., Police Department, the FBI, and the Kansas City, 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.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking
Updated January 11, 2023