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Press Release

Jury Convicts California Man of Large-Scale PCP Conspiracy

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

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tom Larson, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a California man was convicted in federal court today of his role in a conspiracy to distribute large quantities of PCP in the Kansas City area.

Ladronal S. Hamilton, also known as “Black,” 45, of Hawthorne, Calif., was found guilty of participating in a conspiracy to distribute PCP in Jackson County, Mo., and elsewhere from Jan. 1, 2011, to March 12, 2015.

Evidence introduced during the trial indicated that Hamilton supplied numerous associates in Kansas City with kilogram quantities of PCP, which was transported from California through the mail.

Operation Dirty Glass

Operation Dirty Glass was an investigation of a large-scale PCP and crack cocaine drug trafficking organization. More than 20 defendants were indicted and convicted as a result of the investigation, including the primary target, Gerald W. Jones, 45, of Kansas City, Mo., who received PCP from Hamilton. In a separate but related, case, Jones was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in federal prison without parole.

Investigators seized a total of approximately 14 kilograms of PCP in a series of Express Mail shipments made by Hamilton to Kansas City, Mo. On Oct. 17, 2014, a postal inspector identified an Express Mail package that had been sent by Hamilton from the La Tiejera, Calif., post office to a Kansas City, Mo., address. The parcel contained three metal canisters, each of which contained approximately two kilograms of PCP. On Nov. 10, 2014, a postal inspector identified two more Express Mail packages that had been sent by Hamilton from California to Kansas City, Mo., addresses. Inside each package, investigators found a metal canister containing approximately two kilograms of PCP.

Hamilton made frequent trips to the Kansas City area. Prior to the discovery of the PCP shipments, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service interdicted two Express Mail envelopes on Oct. 16, 2013, that Hamilton, while visiting Kansas City, had sent back to California. One envelope contained $4,000 and the other contained $7,000, of drug proceeds.

Operation Water Park

Hamilton was also implicated in a separate investigation, Operation Water Park, which resulted in the indictment and convictions of 11 defendants. In early 2015, Hamilton began supplying PCP to Leelon Williams, 40, of Kansas City, Mo. Williams pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute PCP and was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison without parole.

Williams was arrested on March 12, 2015, when Kansas City, Mo., police officers were dispatched to the area of 26th Street and College to investigate a shooting. Williams was found hiding inside his van, which was parked in an alleyway near the scene of the shooting. (Williams was not involved in the shooting.) Investigators searched the van and found two glass orange juice bottles that contained a total of approximately 1.2 kilograms of PCP, which Hamilton had shipped to Williams from California.

Under federal statutes, Hamilton is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of life in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

Following the presentation of evidence, the jury in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo., deliberated for about 3 hours before returning the guilty verdicts to U.S. District Judge Gary A. Fenner, ending a trial that began Monday, May 15, 2017.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brent Venneman and Emily A. Orsinger. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Updated May 22, 2017

Drug Trafficking