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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Missouri

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 21, 2018

KCK Man Sentenced to 19 Years for Drug Trafficking, Illegal Firearm

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Kansas City, Kan., man has been sentenced in federal court for illegally possessing crack cocaine and a firearm.

Antonio E. Wills, 43, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Roseann Ketchmark on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018, to 19 years in federal prison without parole. Wills was sentenced as a career offender due to his prior felony convictions. The court ordered the federal sentence to be served consecutively to the upcoming sentence in the District of Kansas for violating his supervised release in a separate federal case.

On Feb. 9, 2018, Wills pleaded guilty to possessing cocaine with the intent to distribute and to being a felon in possession of a firearm. 

Wills was a passenger in a vehicle that attempted to avoid a DUI checkpoint on March 19, 2016, by making a U-turn in the middle of Main Street. Kansas City, Mo., police officers stopped the vehicle and directed the driver back to the checkpoint. Officers at the checkpoint smelled a strong odor of marijuana and observed Wills trying to conceal something inside his front hoodie pocket. Wills and the driver were both instructed to get out of the vehicle, at which time an officer saw a clear plastic baggy that contained cocaine in Wills’s hand. An officer instructed Wills to drop the clear bag. Wills failed to comply and placed the bag back in his front hoodie pocket. The officer attempted to take Wills into custody, but he refused to comply and a struggle ensued. Additional officers responded to assist with taking Wills into custody.

When officers searched Wills, they found another clear plastic baggy that contained cocaine in his cargo shorts pocket and a loaded Glock .45-caliber handgun (with an obliterated serial number) in his waistband. They also found marijuana and $2,186 in Wills’s pocket. Wills was in possession of 71.5 grams of powder cocaine and 7.7 grams of crack cocaine.

At the time of his arrest, Wills was on supervised release after being convicted in a separate drug-trafficking case and serving more than 10 years in prison. A federal warrant had been issued for his arrest, based on his absconding from supervision.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Wills has prior felony convictions for possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, possession of a controlled substance and driving while a habitual violator.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Adam Caine and Ashleigh Ragner. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Project Safe Neighborhoods
The U.S. Attorney’s Office is partnering with federal, state, and local law enforcement to specifically identify criminals responsible for significant violent crime in the Western District of Missouri. A centerpiece of this effort is Project Safe Neighborhoods, a program that brings together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make neighborhoods safer for everyone. Project Safe Neighborhoods is an evidence-based program that identifies the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develops comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, Project Safe Neighborhoods focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated December 21, 2018