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Justice News

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

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Jury Convicts Shawnee Man of Illegal Firearm, Cocaine

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Shawnee, Kansas, man was convicted by a federal trial jury today of illegally possessing a firearm and possessing cocaine.

Anthony Whitehead, 32, was found guilty of one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and one count of possessing a controlled substance.

A federal arrest warrant was issued for Whitehead in the District of Kansas on Dec. 29, 2016, for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution in regards to a Johnson County, Kansas, warrant for attempted kidnapping. Agents with the U.S. Marshal’s Service Fugitive Task Force received information that Whitehead was staying at the Relax Inn, 6300 Blue Parkway, Kansas City, Missouri. 

On Jan. 20, 2017, federal agents contacted Whitehead and his girlfriend in their room at the Relax Inn, where they found a loaded Glock .40-caliber semi-automatic handgun hidden underneath the mattress of the bed. Agents also found a cellophane bag that contained approximately 1.5 grams of cocaine in one of Whitehead’s pants pockets.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Whitehead has two prior felony convictions for fleeing and attempting to elude a law enforcement officer, as well as prior felony convictions for unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of a controlled substance, possession with the intent to sell marijuana, domestic assault, endangering the welfare of a child, unlawful use of a weapon, and tampering with a motor vehicle.

Following the presentation of evidence, the jury in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo., deliberated for approximately 30 minutes before returning the guilty verdict to U.S. District Judge Greg Kays, ending a trial that began Tuesday, June 18, 2019.

Under federal statutes, Whitehead is subject to a sentence of up to 13 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. Attorney Brad K. Kavanaugh and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert M. Smith. It was investigated by the U.S. Marshal’s Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Kansas City, Mo., Police Crime Lab and the Missouri State Highway Patrol Crime Lab.

Project Safe Neighborhoods
The U.S. Attorney’s Office is partnering with federal, state, and local law enforcement to specifically identify criminals responsible for significant violent crime in the Western District of Missouri. A centerpiece of this effort is Project Safe Neighborhoods, a program that brings together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make neighborhoods safer for everyone. Project Safe Neighborhoods is an evidence-based program that identifies the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develops comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, Project Safe Neighborhoods focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated June 19, 2019