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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 23, 2018

KC Man Charged with Using GPS to Track Murder Victim

Shot in Front of His 8-Year-Old Daughter

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Kansas City, Mo., man has been charged in federal court with using a GPS tracking device to assist in the murder of a rival drug trafficker who was fatally shot in front of his 8-year-old daughter.

Lester Brown, 30, of Kansas City, was charged in a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo., on Thursday, March 22, 2018. Brown remains in federal custody pending a detention hearing on Tuesday, March 27, 2018.

The federal criminal complaint charges Brown with using a GPS tracking device with the intent to commit a crime of violence, which resulted in the death of Christopher Harris, to further Brown’s marijuana trafficking operation.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the federal criminal complaint, Brown and Harris had a long-standing dispute over marijuana trafficking. Brown allegedly murdered Harris in front of Harris’s 8-year-old daughter on March 14, 2018, as Harris was returning his daughter to her mother’s residence. The murder, says the affidavit, was the culmination of conflicts between Brown and Harris’s competing marijuana distribution activities.

Independence police officers were dispatched to a residence on March 14, 2018, regarding a report of shots fired near the residence. Harris’s girlfriend, the mother of his daughter, reported that her boyfriend had been shot. When officers arrived, they discovered Harris suffering from a wound to the head. Harris was unresponsive, and was ultimately pronounced deceased.

An anonymous source told investigators that Brown orchestrated the shooting assault on Harris and enlisted the assistance of two other persons as shooters. Brown allegedly used a GPS tracking device, covertly placed on Harris’s vehicle, to track Harris’s movements.

The anonymous source described a long-standing grievance between Brown and Harris, and indicated it was this conflict which likely resulted in the assault and death of Harris. Harris’s former girlfriend and the mother of his 8-year-old daughter told investigators that Harris had recently told her about a confrontation between himself and Brown at a local shopping center within the two weeks preceding Harris’s death.

The anonymous source also told investigators that Brown distributes high-grade marijuana on his own and has attempted to join other distributors in the metropolitan area to expand his enterprise. Brown has allegedly engaged in robberies of other drug traffickers with the intent of stealing bulk quantities of high-grade marijuana and other illegal drugs to distribute himself. Brown allegedly enlisted the same two shooters to assist him in these robberies.

A second anonymous source told investigators that Brown also had deployed GPS tracking devices on the vehicles of other known distributors of illegal drugs that he intended to target for robberies.

The charge contained in this complaint 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 Joseph M. Marquez. It was investigated by the Independence, Mo., Police Department, the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department, and the FBI.
 

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Violent Crime
Updated March 23, 2018