KC Man Sentenced to 21 Years for Heroin, Cocaine Conspiracy
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Missouri
High Speed Police Chase Led Through Neighborhoods, Past Schools, into a Park
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Kansas City, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for his role in a conspiracy to distribute heroin and cocaine after leading law enforcement officers on a high-speed chase through several neighborhoods, past two schools, and into a park.
Michael A. Baldwin, 62, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Greg Kays to 21 years and 10 months in federal prison without parole. Baldwin was sentenced as a career criminal due to his prior felony convictions. Today’s sentence also reflects an enhancement for recklessly creating a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury to another person in the course of fleeing from a law enforcement officer.
On June 2, 2022, Baldwin pleaded guilty (a few days before his trial was scheduled to begin) to one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and heroin, one count of possessing heroin with the intent to distribute, and one count of possessing cocaine with the intent to distribute.
Baldwin was arrested on Nov. 18, 2019, when a confidential source met him at the Peachtree Restaurant on Eastwood Trafficway in Kansas City, Mo., and delivered cocaine and heroin from co-defendant Darey Enrique Salcido-Dominguez, 39, of Mesa, Arizona.
As the confidential source left the area after delivering the cocaine and heroin to Baldwin, law enforcement officers approached Baldwin in police vehicles with their emergency equipment activated. Baldwin, who was driving a 2007 Land Rover, took off at a high rate of speed, fleeing from the officers at speeds up to 70 miles per hour through several neighborhoods and past George Washington Carver Dual Language Elementary School and George Melcher Elementary School. Baldwin ran stop signs and drove through the green space of Vineyard Park before he wrecked his vehicle in a wooded area. Baldwin attempted to flee on foot but was apprehended.
When officers searched the Land Rover they found several bundles that contained a total of approximately 3.27 kilograms of heroin and approximately 1.19 kilograms of cocaine.
On the same day as the delivery to Baldwin, the confidential source also had been instructed by Salcido-Dominguez to deliver three kilograms of cocaine to co-defendant Kelvin R. Williams, 53, of Kansas City, Mo., one kilogram of cocaine to co-defendant Raleigh G. Austin, Jr., 53, of Kansas City, Mo., and two kilograms of cocaine to co-defendant Terry D. Finch, 53, of Kansas City, Mo. Finch also gave the confidential source $2,000.
According to court documents, the confidential source began cooperating with law enforcement after he was stopped by the Kansas Highway Patrol on Nov. 14, 2019. The trooper seized a duffel bag from the vehicle of the confidential source, which contained $269,020. He told federal investigators he worked as a courier for Salcido-Dominguez and had been transporting nine to 18 kilograms of cocaine and black tar heroin every two weeks for the past eight months. He also transported the illicit proceeds of the drug-trafficking conspiracy back to Salcido-Dominguez. He told investigators that Baldwin typically received two or three kilograms of heroin every two weeks.
Baldwin has a prior felony conviction for second-degree murder and a prior felony conviction for aggravated robbery/aggravated assault for an armed robbery in which an employee of the victim business was shot.
Baldwin is the fourth defendant to be sentenced in this case. Williams was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison without parole. Finch was sentenced to 19 years and seven months in federal prison without parole. Austin was sentenced to six years in federal prison without parole.
Salcido-Dominguez pleaded guilty to his role in the drug-trafficking conspiracy and will be sentenced on April 5, 2023.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gregg Coonrod and Nicholas Heberle. It was investigated by the FBI and the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department.
Updated February 28, 2023