Skip to main content
Press Release

KC Man Pleads Guilty to Meth Trafficking, Illegal Firearms

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Missouri
Meth, Pistol Discovered After ATV Accident in Independence

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Kansas City, Mo., man who was injured when his ATV flipped over while making a turn on an Independence, Mo., street pleaded guilty in federal court today to illegally possessing firearms and methamphetamine.

Melvin L. Carter, 48, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Greg Kays to one count of possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute, one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime, and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Independence police officers were called to an address on S. Overton Avenue on Oct. 14, 2022, after Carter was ejected from his ATV as it flipped over while making a turn. Prior to the officers’ arrival, the Independence Fire Department responded to an earlier 911 call and informed officers that Carter had been armed when they arrived at the scene of the accident. They retrieved his firearm, a Keltec 9mm pistol, which they turned over to the police officers. Officers found the ATV flipped on its side when they arrived at the scene. Carter was bleeding from his head and being treated by paramedics.

Police officers checked Carter’s jacket and found a plastic baggie that contained approximately 105 grams of methamphetamine.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Carter has prior felony convictions for robbery, possession of a controlled substance, sale of a controlled substance, trafficking, and resisting arrest.

After Carter was federally indicted, Independence police officers located him and placed him under arrest. Carter was in possession of a loaded Glock .40-caliber handgun with an extended magazine and approximately 215 grams of methamphetamine.

Under federal statutes, Carter is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of five 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. Attorney Jeffrey Q. McCarther. It was investigated by the Independence, Mo., Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Project Safe Neighborhoods

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

Updated May 30, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods