Kansas City News: Twenty Defendants Indicted in Drug-Trafficking Conspiracy

Law Enforcement Operation Seizes Firearms, Heroin, Large Amounts of Cash

KANSAS CITY, MO (STL.News) Twenty defendants, primarily residents of Kansas City, Missouri, have been indicted for their roles in a drug-trafficking conspiracy.  Most of the defendants were arrested during a law enforcement operation last week that resulted in seizures of firearms, heroin and other illegal drugs, and large amounts of cash.

Ladele D. Smith, also known as “Dellio” and “Dog,” 32, Roy O. Franklin Jr., 29, David J. Duncan IV, also known as “Deei” or “DJ,” 30, Terrance R. Garner, also known as “T-Dot,” 34, Joshua D. Marchbanks, 29, Cory Tremaine Brown, also known as “Twin,” 39, Carleeon D. Lockett, also known as “Tone,” 27, Gary Othniel Toombs, 39, Errick Eugene Martin Jr., also known as “Dough Boy,” 28, Kenneth Dewayne Scott, also known as “Kenny,” 23, Cordell D. Edwards, also known as “Duke,” 31, Victor Gonzalez, also known as “Lil Vic” and “El Chavo,” 30, Michael E. Sims, also known as “Mikey,” 33, Cordarrel Lamonte Scott, also known as “DOB,” 33, Marco Rashon Maddox, 35, and Herman Graham Bell Jr., 64, all of Kansas City, Mo.; Cornelius Phelps, also known as “Tim Tim,” 33, of Lee’s Summit, Mo.; Sirrico L. Franklin, also known as “Chico” and “Rico,” 28, of Raytown, Mo.; Lencorya Tiko Montrel Grady, also known as “Thick,” 44, of Springfield, Mo.; and Martin Christopher Garner, also known as “Looch” and “Lu Lu,” 32, of St. Louis, Mo., were charged in a two-count indictment returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Mo., on Tuesday, Oct. 1.

The federal indictment was unsealed following a law enforcement operation on Wednesday, Oct. 2, in which 16 of the 20 defendants were arrested.  Approximately 200 federal agents and local law enforcement officers were involved in the operation, which also resulted in the arrests of two additional individuals who have been charged with being felons in possession of firearms in separate cases related to the underlying investigation of this case.

According to court documents, investigators seized 23 firearms, approximately 350 grams of heroin, cocaine, marijuana, $75,000 in cash, scales, an apparent drug ledger, and drug packaging materials during the course of the arrest operation and accompanying search warrants. Smith, Duncan, Martin, Garner, Gonzalez, Scott, Phelps, and Bell were arrested with firearms either on their person, in their vehicle, or in their residence.

The indictment alleges that all 20 of the defendants participated in a conspiracy to distribute at least a kilogram of heroin, as well as cocaine, crack cocaine, oxycodone, codeine, and marijuana, from Jan. 1, 2011, to Oct. 1, 2019.

In addition to the drug-trafficking conspiracy, Smith, Roy Franklin, Sirrico Franklin, and Toombs are charged with maintaining a residence for the purpose of manufacturing, distributing, and using controlled substances.

Officers executed a search warrant at a residence maintained by Smith, Roy Franklin, Sirrico Franklin, and Toombs during the Oct. 2 operation and seized approximately 350 grams of suspected heroin, a digital scale, packaging material, two Glock handguns, two Mico Draco AK-47 pistols, a Century Arms AK-47 pistol, and an apparent bullet proof vest.  According to court documents, officers also found a stolen Jeep, riddled with bullet holes and missing the back window, that allegedly had been used by conspirators in a shoot-out on Sept. 9, 2019, in the area of 35th Street and Woodland. Investigators also recovered live ammunition and shell casings inside the vehicle.

Duncan was among those arrested in his apartment during the Oct. 2 operation.  According to court documents, officers located three firearms under his mattress: a Zastava M92PV, a Glock Model 19, and a Norinco MAK90 AK-47.  Investigators also seized approximately $7,100 in cash, an apparent drug ledger on the nightstand listing nicknames and dollar amounts, and Duncan’s Dodge Charger.

The charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt.  Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.