KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A drug-trafficking conspiracy involving more than 200 area officers ends with the arrests of two-dozen people.
Federal court documents show agents arrested four people Tuesday and an additional 21 people on Wednesday.
Officers seized 27 firearms, more than 1,800 rounds of ammunition, 11.1 kilograms of marijuana, 300 grams of cocaine, other illegal drugs, and $35,000 in cash.
“This operation removed a large number of armed and dangerous drug dealers from the streets of our community,” U.S. Attorney Teresa Moore, said. “After a nearly year-long investigation, our law enforcement partners worked together to take down a significant drug-trafficking organization and reduce the threat of violent crime in our neighborhoods.”
The bust involved agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Drug Enforcement Administration; the U.S. Marshals Service; the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department; and the Independence, Missouri Police Department.
The federal indictment alleges that all 26 defendants have participated in a conspiracy since Jan. 28, 2019, to distribute crack cocaine, fentanyl, cocaine, and marijuana in Jackson County.
Each of the following defendants were charged in an 86-count indictment on March 1, 2022.
- Kevin C. Cokes, also known as “Big K” and “Uncle,” 60, Kansas City, Mo.
- Mercedez M. Gardner, also known as “Twin,” 36, Kansas City, Mo.
- November D. Gardner, also known as “October” and “Nuttie,” 23, Kansas City, Mo.
- Idella Gardner, also known as “Lupi,” 34, Kansas City, Mo.
- Delmar L. Hatcher, 51, Kansas City, Mo.
- Nathaniel B. Chapple, 24, Kansas City, Mo.
- Treandre R. Walker, 24, Kansas City, Mo.
- Hazel M. Berymon, 64, Kansas City, Mo.
- Carlton L. Burns, also known as “Pooder,” 24, Kansas City, Mo.
- Christopher J. Hicks-Berry, 35, Kansas City, Mo.
- Kyeir C. Theus, 35, Kansas City, Mo.
- Tony L. Davis, 52, Kansas City, Mo.
- Michael R. Parks, 62, Kansas City, Mo.
- Brian T. Boxly, 45, Kansas City, Mo.
- Parris J. Walker, 27, Kansas City, Mo.
- Jachobette J. Gardner, 42, Kansas City, Mo.
- Reginald L. Mitchem, 42, Kansas City, Mo.
- Eliot E. Cox, 32, Kansas City, Mo.
- Martell C. Cratch, 30, Kansas City, Mo.
- Anthony D. Stuckey, 66, Kansas City, Mo.
- Matthew Rogers, 59, Kansas City, Mo.
- Gloria Hutchinson, 37, Kansas City, Mo.
- Eddie L. Nicholson, Jr., also known as “Junior,” 54, Kansas City, Mo.
- Toneisha R. Blackmon, 29, Kansas City, Mo.
- Shania N. Bailey, 23, Kansas City, Mo.
- Deone D. Gardner, also known as “Twin,” 28, Belton, Mo.,
In addition to the conspiracy, various defendants are charged in 16 drug-trafficking counts and 57 counts of illegally using a telephone to facilitate the conspiracy.
According to court documents, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives began investigating an armed drug trafficking organization in April 2021. The group operated primarily in east Kansas City.
Investigators said members of the organization sold marijuana, crack cocaine, powder cocaine, ecstasy pills, OxyContin pills, and counterfeit Percocet pills made with fentanyl.
Court documents also showed the suspects carried guns and were known to be violent.
Members of the organization are accused of a shooting on Westport Road on April 17, 2021. Officers said three people were injured in the afternoon shooting. Witnesses reported seeing two gunmen with AK-style weapons.
November Gardner and Hicks-Berry are also accused of firing a number of gunshots near 24th Street and Van Brunt on Nov. 26, 2019. Officers said no one was injured in the shooting, but at least one car was destroyed by gunfire.
Two additional defendants were arrested as part of the investigation, but charged separately in federal indictments that also were unsealed Wednesday.
John E. Johnson, 29, of Kansas City, was charged with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Arron L. Hall, 42, of Kansas City, was charged with three counts of distributing methamphetamine and marijuana from May 5 to June 10, 2021.
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