KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Kansas City, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to his role in a $4.1 million drug-trafficking conspiracy, which is linked to two murders, and which distributed 520 kilograms of methamphetamine in the metropolitan area.
Gerald Lee Ginnings, 42, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Greg Kays and admitted that between Jan. 1, 2018, and October 1, 2018, he participated with others in conspiracies to distribute methamphetamine and launder drug proceeds, and to possessing a firearm in relation to a drug-trafficking crime, and to being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Ginnings was responsible for distributing, or assisting to distribute, at least five kilograms of methamphetamine. Proceeds of the drug-trafficking conspiracy were used to pay living expenses, buy assets, and to purchase additional drugs for distribution. Ginnings and other co-conspirators used cash during the conspiracy to conceal the true nature of the proceeds from drug distribution.
Ginnings was arrested on June 28, 2018, and again on Sept. 27, 2018. During those arrests, law enforcement officers seized over 50 grams of methamphetamine and a Kel-Tec 9 mm handgun, which Ginnings obtained by trading for methamphetamine.
The drug-trafficking organization with which Ginnings was associated was responsible for two murders. In August 2018, James Hampton was beaten, kidnapped, and transported from St. Louis, Mo., to Kansas City in the trunk of a car. Conspirators also kidnapped Brittanie Broyles, a woman who was with Hampton when he was seized and who witnessed his beating and kidnapping. Ginnings was not with co-conspirators in St. Louis or on the trip from St. Louis to Kansas City.
On Aug. 6, 2018, Hampton’s car and body were discovered burning in Bates City, Mo. On Aug. 8, 2018, Broyles’s body was recovered by the Super Flea in the Northeast area of Kansas City. She had been murdered by two gunshots to her head. Investigators learned that Ginnings, in exchange for being forgiven a $5,000 drug debt, was involved in burning Hampton’s car. Ginnings was also involved in transporting Broyles after she was brought to Kansas City, during which time someone shot her twice in the head and she died.
Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony crime to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Ginnings has at least three prior felony convictions for tampering with a motor vehicle.
Ginnings is among 22 co-defendants who have pleaded guilty in this case.
Ginnings must pay a money judgment not to exceed $4,160,000, which represents the proceeds he received from the drug-trafficking conspiracy, as determined by the court at the time of his sentencing. That forfeiture amount is based on the unlawful distribution of more than 520 kilograms of methamphetamine, based on an average price of $8,000 per kilogram.
Under federal statutes, Ginnings is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 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.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Bruce Rhoades and Robert M. Smith. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department, the Sni Valley Fire Department, the Jackson, Lafayette, Buchanan, and Phelps County, Mo., Sheriff’s Departments, the FBI, the Jackson County Drug Task Force, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, and the St. James, Mo., Police Department.