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Justice News

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

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

KCK Man Sentenced to 27 Years in Prison for 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 was sentenced in federal court today for 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., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Beth Phillips to 27 years in federal prison without parole.

On July 29, 2014, Soto pleaded guilty 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 co-conspirators 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 co-conspirator 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.

Nine of Soto’s co-defendants have pleaded guilty: Antonio Cervantes, III, also known as “Taz,” 24, and Bobbi Jo Phillips, 39, both of Independence; Carlos Zambrano, Jr., also known as “Los,” 39,  Amber R. Hart, 28, Martin Medrano, 24, and Paula K. Deardorff, 33, all of Kansas City, Mo.; Clayton J. Deardorff, 36, of Columbia, Mo., and Ryan J. Clayton, 32, and Stephanie K. Allinder, 21, addresses unknown.

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.
Updated January 12, 2015