KCK Man Pleads Guilty to Drug-trafficking Conspiracy, Fatal Shooting of Independence Man
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kansas City, Kan., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to his role in a drug-trafficking conspiracy that resulted in the shooting deaths of three persons during a home invasion in Independence, Mo., and the shooting of a 12-year-old boy in the home.
Victims of the fatal shootings were Maria Hernandez, her son, Antonio Hernandez, and her boyfriend, Martin “Tomas” Dominguez-Gregorio. Maria Hernandez’s then-12–year-old son, Miguel Hernandez, was wounded in the shooting.
Raul Soto, also known as “Choch,” 23, of Kansas City, Kan., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Beth Phillips to one count of participating in a conspiracy to possess 50 grams or more of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute, and one count of using a firearm during the drug-trafficking conspiracy, resulting in the death of Antonio Hernandez.
Soto admitted that he and several coconspirators planned to rob Dominguez-Gregorio of as much as three pounds of methamphetamine. They traveled to his apartment in Independence in the early morning hours of Nov. 16, 2012. Soto carried a 9mm pistol. He and a coconspirator entered a shed behind the house and bound and beat two occupants inside the shed, one of whom was Antonio Hernandez. They dragged Antonio Hernandez into the main house. They demanded drugs and money from the occupants, but the victims denied having any drugs or money. Soto admitted that he shot and killed Antonio Hernandez.
Soto also admitted that conspirators removed a motorcycle and a TV from the apartment.
Four of Soto’s co-defendants have pleaded guilty: Paula K. Deardorff, 32, of Kansas City, Mo.; Clayton J. Deardorff, 36, of Columbia, Mo., and Ryan J. Clayton, 31, and Stephanie K. Allinder, 21, addresses unknown.
Under the terms of today’s plea agreement, the government and Soto agree that an appropriate sentence is 27 years in federal prison without parole. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Nov. 18, 2014.This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Charles E. Ambrose and Patrick C. Edwards. It was investigated by the Independence, Mo., Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department.