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Press Release

KC Man Indicted for Illegal Firearms

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

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Kansas City, Missouri, man who threatened another person at gunpoint and led police officers in a pursuit was indicted by a federal grand jury today for illegally possessing firearms.

Ronald P. Harris, 26, was charged with being a felon in possession of firearms in a two-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Mo. Today’s indictment replaces a federal criminal complaint that was filed against Harris on Nov. 1, 2019.

Today’s indictment alleges that Harris was in possession of a Smith and Wesson 9mm semi-automatic pistol on July 20, 2019. The indictment also alleges that Harris was in possession of a .38 Special .357 Magnum revolver on Nov. 9, 2019.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the original criminal complaint, a witness told law enforcement officers that Harris approached him in his back yard on the morning of July 20, 2019. Harris allegedly pointed a gun at him and stated, “I know you called the cops on me. I'll kill you. I don't care about the police.” Alarmed, he went inside his home and called 911. 

When police officers arrived, they saw Harris driving a Mercury Mountaineer in reverse at a high rate of speed, traveling southbound on Highland Avenue towards East 44th Street. As officers pursued the vehicle, Harris was involved in an accident with another vehicle at East 44th Street and The Paseo. Harris fled the scene of the accident, and officers continued the pursuit. Officers saw Harris throw a semi-automatic handgun from his vehicle before coming to an abrupt stop. The loaded pistol was later recovered on the lawn of a residence.

Harris refused to follow officers’ commands to exit the vehicle, forcing the officers to remove him and place him under arrest. Harris refused to sit up and laid down on the ground, stating that he needed an ambulance. Harris was still extremely belligerent, the affidavit says, shouting profanities at the police officers and making sudden movements. Harris was transported by ambulance to the hospital. While being loaded on the gurney, a spit-mask had to be placed on him and he continued to physically act in a hostile manner and threaten the officers. After arriving at the hospital, he was handcuffed to the hospital bed and his spit-mask was removed. While an officer was adjusting the handcuffs, Harris spit in the officer’s face and struck him on his left cheek. He was discharged from the hospital after a short time because the hospital staff was unable to find anything wrong with him.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Harris has a prior felony conviction for burglary.

The charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

This case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Caleb J. Aponte, who is a cross-designated prosecutor from the Missouri Attorney General’s office as part of the Safer Streets Initiative to combat violent crime. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department.

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.

Updated November 12, 2019

Topic
Project Safe Neighborhoods