KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Kansas City, Mo., man has been sentenced in federal court for illegally possessing numerous firearms, including a handgun that was used to commit a murder.
Michael L. Bradford, also known as Derrick Lamont Brown, 30, of Kansas City, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Greg Kays on Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014, to 25 years in federal prison without parole.
On May 2, 2014, Bradford pleaded guilty to two counts of being a felon in possession of firearms and one count of distributing PCP and marijuana.
Bradford admitted that he sold a Llama .38-caliber revolver, which had been used in a murder less than a week earlier, to undercover law enforcement officers on Nov. 5, 2012. ATF agents and Kansas City police officers were engaged in a nearly year-long undercover operation to address violent crime, illegal firearms trafficking and drug trafficking in the metropolitan area. They operated an undercover storefront resulting in the undercover purchase of many firearms.
Bradford told the undercover operators that the firearm was reported stolen but not used in a crime, however, there was no stolen firearm report located for this weapon. Testing performed after Bradford sold this pistol to the storefront determined it matched two of the three bullets recovered from the body of David Lablance, who had been shot to death on Oct. 30, 2012.
Bradford was one of the last persons to have contact with Lablance before his death. Bradford and Lablance also had been in the storefront together on Sept. 22, 2012, when Lablance sold a grenade, with the deal brokered by Bradford. The device they sold was initially thought to be a live functioning explosive device; however, upon further testing it was determined the explosive charge had been removed and the fuse had been “expended.”
During the storefront operation, Bradford personally sold eight handguns and three long guns. He assisted with the sale of an additional five long guns. Two of the handguns Bradford personally sold were stolen. One of the guns on which he assisted had an obliterated serial number.
Bradford also sold marijuana (8.6 grams) and PCP (10.6 grams and 1.5 grams) during the storefront operation. During each of these drug sales, he was also selling firearms he brought to the storefront. On two occasions when he was at the storefront to sell weapons, Bradford made it clear that he was personally armed, not just with the guns he was selling.
Bradford had also been the target of an earlier unrelated narcotics investigation. As police officers approached Bradford’s residence on Sept. 5, 2012, to execute a search warrant, Bradford was observed walking down the street. He was arrested and officers located a loaded Smith and Wesson .40-caliber pistol that Bradford had tossed nearby.
Bradford was arrested on Nov. 13, 2012, following a traffic stop in which he was the driver. A Smith and Wesson .38-caliber handgun was located behind the front seat and a bottle containing PCP was located on the front seat. There was also a small child in the backseat near the firearm and a female adult passenger.
Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Bradford has two prior felony convictions for armed criminal action, two prior felony convictions for robbery and one prior felony conviction for burglary.This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bruce Rhoades. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.