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Press Release

Jury Convicts KC Man of Meth Conspiracy

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

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Timothy A. Garrison, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kansas City, Mo., man was convicted by a federal trial jury today of his role in a meth-trafficking conspiracy.

Marcell Shavers, 27, of Kansas City, was found guilty of one count of participating in a conspiracy to possess methamphetamine with the intent to distribute.

On Jan. 1, 2014, Kansas City, Mo., police officers responded to a reported shooting. Upon arrival, they discovered the body of Jose Medellin, who had been fatally shot. They also found several shell casings at the scene as well as two plastic bags containing more than 55 grams of methamphetamine in Medellin’s possession.

The person who reported the shooting had gone to Discount Smokes on Independence Avenue to obtain some cigarettes. While at the store, he was approached by James P. Roberts, 26, of Kansas City, Mo., who asked about obtaining methamphetamine. He replied that he knew a source and would set up a meeting.

The witness contacted Medellin, then picked up Roberts at Discount Smokes and they drove to Medellin’s apartment building. He told Medellin that Roberts wanted to buy $1,000 of methamphetamine, and Medellin told him to bring Roberts inside the apartment building. The three men met in the laundry room on the ground floor, but when a car alarm went off, the witness went out to shut it off. He could not re-enter the laundry because it locked automatically and could only be opened from the inside.

Although he could not reenter the building, the witness could see through the windows and saw Roberts with an unknown man, later identified as Shavers. He witnessed Medellin being shot. Medellin tried to run from the shooter but was unable to escape. Medellin was shot in the abdomen, turned to run, was shot in the right buttock, fell to the ground and was shot in the back while on the ground. After Medellin fell, ran to a nearby Quik Trip and called the police.

Shavers later told another person that he and Roberts had met with Medellin to conduct a drug deal.

Roberts admitted that, while he possessed a handgun during the drug transaction, he never fired at Medellin. Roberts pleaded guilty on Feb. 1, 2018, to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, which resulted in the killing of Medellin. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Roberts will be sentenced to between 20 and 30 years in federal prison without parole.

Following the presentation of evidence, the jury in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo., deliberated for approximately seven hours over two days before returning the guilty verdict to U.S. Chief District Judge Greg Kays.

Under federal statutes, Shavers is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of 40 years 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.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeffrey Valenti and Joseph M. Marquez. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Updated March 5, 2018

Drug Trafficking