U.S. Marshals Target Violent Offenders in KC Metro Area
KC Man Indicted for Illegal Firearms, Assaulting Federal Officers
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – U.S. Attorney Tim Garrison and U.S. Marshal Mark S. James announced today the results of a law enforcement operation that resulted in dozens of arrests and the seizure of multiple firearms and illegal drugs as part of the district’s renewed Project Safe Neighborhoods program.
“One year ago, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the launch of a reinvigorated Project Safe Neighborhoods program nationwide,” said Garrison. “Operation Washout is one example of the strategies we are implementing to reduce violent crime and make every community safer – especially the neighborhoods hardest hit by violent crime.”
“This is but a preview of what is to come,” said James. “In conjunction with our partners at the Kansas City Missouri Police Department and the other federal agencies, as well as members of the community, our deputies are working around the clock to rid the streets of these violent criminals victimizing our community.”
For the past three weeks the United States Marshals Service conducted an enforcement operation in collaboration with the Kansas City and Independence, Mo., Police Departments, the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in support of Project Safe Neighborhoods by tracking down some of the area’s most violent and persistent offenders in Operation Washout.
By the end of the three-week enforcement operation, deputy marshals, special agents and detectives arrested 56 people with state and federal felony warrants for violent crimes and drugs. The arrestees were among the most violent and active offenders in Kansas City. They are either known gang members, or subject to previous enforcement action through KC NoVA and KCPD, but continued to commit violent crimes. Officers also seized 10 handguns, two semi-automatic rifles, one shotgun, numerous rounds of ammunition and a variety of drugs, including methamphetamine, heroin, ecstasy and cocaine.
The U.S. Marshals Midwest Violent Fugitive Task Force-Kansas City division, operates in conjunction with members of the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department, the Independence, Mo., Police Department and other federal law enforcement partners. The task force objectives are to seek out and arrest fugitives charged with violent crimes, drug offenses, sex offenders and other serious felonies. Nationally the United States Marshals Service fugitive programs are carried out with local law enforcement in 94 district offices, 85 local fugitive task forces, seven regional task forces, as well as a growing network of offices in foreign countries.
USA v. Walton
Investigations are currently underway to determine how many of those arrested in Operation Washout will be charged in state or federal court with additional crimes. One defendant, however, was indicted this week after he rammed two law enforcement vehicles while attempting to escape capture.
Brandon L. Walton, 36, of Kansas City, Mo., was charged in a three-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Kansas City on Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018. The federal indictment charges Walton with one count of being a felon in possession of firearms and two counts of assaulting, resisting, or impeding federal law enforcement officers.
Investigators had information that Walton, who had an active warrant for his arrest due to allegedly violating the conditions of his supervised release, was in possession of multiple firearms. Officers located Walton in the parking lot of a tire shop on Sept. 17, 2018, and attempted to pin in his vehicle in order to make an arrest. Walton accelerated, ramming into the front end of a Deputy U.S. Marshal’s vehicle and escaping. Walton accelerated at a high rate of speed while exiting the parking lot, crashed through the tires blocking the exit and traveled airborne before turning north on Troost Avenue. Another Deputy U.S. Marshal attempted to block Walton’s vehicle and their vehicles collided. Walton’s vehicle spun to a stop and was embedded in the fence of a neighboring day care center. Walton attempted to flee on foot, but fell to the ground.
Walton had a Sig Sauer .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun in his pants pocket. Officers found two more firearms on the passenger floorboard, a loaded DPMS Panther Arms .223-5.56mm semiautomatic rifle with an extended magazine, and a loaded Micro Draco 7.62x39mm semiautomatic pistol with an extended magazine.
Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Walton has two prior federal felony convictions for being a felon in possession of a firearm, for which he was under supervised release at the time of his arrest.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily A. Morgan. It was investigated by the U.S. Marshal’s Service, the FBI, the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department and the Independence, Mo., Police Department.
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Operation Washout is part of a strategy to combat violent crime and drug trafficking in the Western District of Missouri. Friday, Oct. 5, will mark one year since Attorney General Jeff Sessions reprioritized and enhanced the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) program, making it the centerpiece of the department’s violent crime reduction strategy.
Project Safe Neighborhoods is a nationwide initiative that brings together federal, state, and local law enforcement officials, prosecutors, and community leaders to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in a community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. Project Safe Neighborhoods empowers each U.S. Attorney’s Office to develop targeted, localized violent crime reduction strategies, tailoring solutions to each individual community with the resources of the Department of Justice and the cooperation of community members.
In support of these efforts, the Department of Justice has allocated more than 300 new federal prosecutor positions to the 94 U.S. Attorney’s Offices. Four of those new positions were allocated in the Western District of Missouri, all of whom are now in place and joining the fight.
The Project Safe Neighborhoods effort in this district consists of the federal and local law enforcement agencies, as well as the Kansas City Crime Commission, and several prominent members of our community with law enforcement experience, including former Kansas City Police Department officials, former federal prosecutors, retired federal agents, and former U.S. Attorneys.
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.