Guardian of Justice Award
KANSAS CITY, MO (STL.News) – Tim Garrison, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced Tuesday that two local and federal law enforcement officers were recognized for the work on several significant cases as recipients of the 2019 Guardian of Justice Award.
FBI Special Agent Jason Ramsey was recognized for his investigation into a kidnapping conspiracy that involved carjacking, robbing, and forcing drugs upon three young female victims. Both defendants in that case were convicted following a three-day trial.
Det. Sgt. Eric Greenwell of the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department was recognized for his leadership role in investigating a number of violent crimes, including murders and armed robberies.
Ramsey and Greenwell were honored on Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019, during the 17th Annual LECC Training Seminar in Springfield, Missouri.
Special Agent Jason Ramsey
Ramsey has been involved in investigating high-profile, complex cases that involve dangerous defendants exhibiting an extraordinary level of violence against innocent victims. Such victim-intensive cases require investigators to rise to a higher standard of professionalism, capability, and responsibility, a standard that Ramsey exceeds.
In the case of USA v. Wortham, et al, co-defendants Jamerl M. Wortham and Anthony B. Williams were each found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit kidnapping, three counts of kidnapping, one count of carjacking, one count of conspiracy to commit armed robbery, one count of attempted armed robbery, one count of distribution of phencyclidine (PCP), six counts of possession of a short-barreled shotgun in furtherance of a crime of violence or drug trafficking crime, one count of being felons in possession of a firearm, one count of possession of an unregistered short-barreled shotgun, and one count of possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number.
Following the trial, jurors needed only an hour and a half to reach guilty verdicts on all counts against both defendants. Neither defendant has been sentenced as yet; Wortham faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 60 years in federal prison without parole, up to life in prison, while Williams faces a mandatory minimum sentence of seven consecutive life sentences.
Initially, the night these crimes were committed, only one defendant was apprehended. Ramsey continued the investigation for two months in order to identify the second defendant. At trial, Ramsey was crucial in evidence-gathering, witness preparation, and determining trial strategy. He was a key witness during the trial as well. Ramsey took a substantial role in communicating with the victims regarding the prosecution of the case, displaying the ability to comfort victims while maintaining a working, professional relationship with them.
Det. Sgt. Eric Greenwell
Greenwell has been the supervisor of the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department’s Career Criminal Task Force for nearly two decades. This squad is tasked with investigating the worst of the worst, recidivistic offenders in the metropolitan area. The offenses the unit investigates include, rape, robbery, assault, gang shootings, drug trafficking, armed robbery, and murder. This unit is unique because it is made up not only of police officers, but multiple federal agents that work under Greenwell’s supervision. The work done by this unit has resulted in countless prosecutions that have benefitted the welfare and safety of the community.
This task force, in conjunction with the FBI, has aggressively targeted subjects involved in armed robberies at local businesses, resulting in 24 federal indictments in the last fiscal year. This places the Kansas City’s initiative fifth in the nation for such indictments. Among those cases was a five-member crew involved in multiple takeover-style robberies of 7-Eleven stores and other businesses. This crew operated by finding two locations next to each other and then simultaneously robbing them both. They did so by shooting out the business windows and holding the employees at gunpoint while demanding money from the business. Another crew robbed taxi drivers, including a 53-year-old Z-Trip driver who refused to give up her money and was shot 18 times with an assault rifle. Another investigation targeted two separate crews who coordinated their robberies of cell phone stores. The violent groups, which stole iPhones, pistol whipped multiple store employees and beat customers. Members of the group were connected to homicides and shootings. Another five-member crew was involved in 11 violent takeover-style armed robberies of local businesses. In one of those robberies, a convenience store clerk was shot and killed. Another six-member crew was involved in 26 armed takeover-style business robberies. While attempting to rob a pharmacy, the crew’s leader was shot and killed in a gun battle with law enforcement officers.
The Career Criminal Task Force coordinated the effort of the Kansas City Police Department and the FBI to identify and arrest a suspect in the murder of seven victims on or around the Indian Creek Trail in Kansas City. Greenwell’s task force also has been involved in several murder cases that have been charged in federal court. Greenwell also coordinated the investigations into nine missing and/or abducted children. Seven of these children were recovered, including a kidnapped infant who was taken from Kansas City to California.
Guardian of Justice Award
The annual Guardian of Justice Award recognizes a state or local officer as well as a federal agent for investigative excellence, selfless collaboration, tireless trial support, commendable diligence and professionalism, and noteworthy assistance to prosecution. The prestigious law enforcement award is presented by the U.S. Attorney’s Office each year during the law enforcement training conference.