DEA - Drug Enforcement Administration

06/07/2024 | Press release | Archived content

Missouri Man Pleads Guilty to $900,000 Drug-Trafficking Conspiracy

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A Grandview, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to his role in a conspiracy that distributed at least 18 kilograms of cocaine.

Anthony D. Harris, 41, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Greg Kays to conspiracy to distribute cocaine.

By pleading guilty today, Harris admitted that he distributed at least 18 kilograms of cocaine between 2019 and 2022. Harris, who obtained cocaine from sources throughout the country, admitted that he made dozens of trips to Texas to obtain cocaine to distribute in the Kansas City metropolitan area. He made 38 trips by flight to Houston, Texas, to obtain cocaine, then rented a vehicle to return and distribute the cocaine to co-conspirators in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

Harris had two bank accounts that facilitated his drug trade. He deposited a total $443,920 into the bank accounts during that time, of which $308,472 was cash deposits.

Harris also gambled with proceeds from his drug trade. Records received from several casinos in the Kansas City area and Las Vegas, Nevada, revealed that from 2019 to 2021, Harris cashed in a total of $705,244 and cashed out a total of $646,108.

Under the terms of today's plea agreement, Harris must forfeit to the government a money judgment of up to $887,600, based upon his drug responsibility as determined by the court. This sum, in aggregate, was obtained through the drug-trafficking conspiracy, based upon an average street price of $1,400 per ounce of cocaine, $30 per pill (approximately 0.1 grams) of fentanyl, and $200 per ounce of marijuana.

Harris is one of 29 defendants charged in this case. More than 200 law enforcement officers participated in an operation in March 2022 that led to the arrests of 25 of the 26 defendants originally indicted. Officers seized 27 firearms, 1,877 rounds of ammunition, more than 11.1 kilograms of marijuana, 300.9 grams of cocaine, 278.91 grams of other illegal drugs, and $34,439 in cash. Harris, who was among three defendants charged in a superseding indictment, was arrested on Jan. 27, 2023.

Under federal statutes, Harris is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of 40 years in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

The Drug Enforcement Administration investigated this case with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Independence, Mo., Police Department, Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Buchanan County, Mo., Sheriff's Department, the Johnson County, Kan., Sheriff's Department and the St. Joseph, Mo., Police Department.

KC Metro Strike Force

This prosecution was brought as a part of the Department of Justice's Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Co-located Strike Forces Initiative, which provides for the establishment of permanent multi-agency task force teams that work side-by-side in the same location. This co-located model enables agents from different agencies to collaborate on intelligence-driven, multi-jurisdictional operations against a continuum of priority targets and their affiliate illicit financial networks. These prosecutor-led co-located Strike Forces capitalize on the synergy created through the long-term relationships that can be forged by agents, analysts, and prosecutors who remain together over time, and they epitomize the model that has proven most effective in combating organized crime. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking organizations, transnational criminal organizations, and money laundering organizations that present a significant threat to the public safety, economic, or national security of the United States.