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United States v. Stewart

United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Western Division

June 20, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
TREVONTAE L. STEWART, and CEDRIC D. FORD, Defendants.

          ORDER

          SARAH W. HAYS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         This matter is currently before the Court on defendants' Motion for Relief From Prejudicial Joinder (doc #30). For the reasons set forth below, this motion is denied.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         On November 30, 2017, a Criminal Complaint was filed against defendants Trevontae L. Stewart and Cedric D. Ford. The Criminal Complaint alleged that defendants, each having been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, knowingly possessed firearms, to wit: a Glock, Model 23, .40 caliber semiautomatic handgun, Serial Number BCDV608; and a Glock, Model 22, .40 caliber, semiautomatic handgun, Serial Number MPA362. The Affidavit given in support of the Criminal Complaint provided in part:

4. On November 29, 2017, Detective/Task Force Officer Robert Guffey of the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department Illegal Firearms Squad/ATF Task Force, initiated surveillance of individuals suspected of being involved in alleged violent criminal acts, previously reported to the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department.
5. During his surveillance operations, at approximately 3:00 p.m., Detective/Task Force Officer Robert Guffey, and assisting detectives, agents and officers encountered a red/copper colored Dodge Caliber sport utility vehicle, displaying the Missouri vehicle temporary registration of 03B0HE, occupied by at least two black male subjects. This vehicle was observed arriving at the residence of or near 2432 S. Cypress, Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri, as surveillance detectives and uniformed officers were attempting to conduct a car stop of another vehicle being followed in the surveillance operations.
6. As the car stop of the vehicles was initiated, and as the Dodge Caliber sport utility vehicle was stopping at the residence, the sole passenger in the Dodge, later identified as Trevontae L. Stewart, exited the vehicle from the front passenger's seat area, and fled from the vehicle, running behind nearby residences. Stewart was observed running from the vehicle while holding his right hand at his right waist line, as if retrieving a concealed item from the front of his pants waist area. Stewart was observed by Detective/Task Force Officer Jason Decker, running to the back yard area of a residence, identified as 2430 Cypress Avenue, Kansas City, Missouri. Stewart disappeared from view briefly, before returning and surrendering himself to Kansas City, Missouri Police Department SNU/TAC officers and detectives. Investigating officers and detectives believed, based on their observations of Stewart as he fled on foot, it was possible he was retrieving a firearm or other item of contraband. During the search of Stewart subsequent to his arrest for fleeing and related municipal offenses, no items of contraband were discovered on his person. During a search of the area where Stewart was taken into custody, a Glock, Model 23, .40 caliber semiautomatic handgun, Serial Number BCDV608, with a single unfired .40 caliber cartridge chambered in the weapon, and loaded with a high capacity magazine containing 20 unfired .40 caliber cartridges was discovered. This firearm was discovered in the backyard of the residence at 2430 Cypress Avenue, Kansas City, Missouri. This is the area Stewart was seen fleeing into prior to his capture. This weapon was seized as evidence.
7. As Stewart was being pursued on foot, the driver and sole remaining occupant of the above identified vehicle, ultimately identified as Cedric Ford, was confronted by Detective/Task Force Officer James Manley, who was wearing clearly identifiable law enforcement protective gear which displayed the characters, “Police”, identifying him as a law enforcement officer. Detective Manley ordered Ford to stop by making loud, repetitive, verbal commands, to which Ford did not respond as Ford exited the driver's seat, made eye contact with Manley, then turned and returned to the driver's seat. Ford then immediately drove from the area of the car stop, along a pedestrian sidewalk at a high rate of speed in a careless and reckless manner while being pursued by Detective Manley, and ultimately Officer Cole Massey of the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department Street Narcotics Unit/Tac Squad. Ford continued to drive in a careless and reckless manner at high rates of speed to the area of East 26th Street and Jackson Avenue, where Ford struck the vehicle of Detective Troy Schwalm of the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department Illegal Firearms Unit. The Dodge vehicle rolled multiple times to its final rest in the front lawn of the residence located at 4119 East 26th Street, Kansas City, Missouri. This collision disabled Det. Schwalm's vehicle.
8. Ford was immediately taken into custody and was determined to be the sole occupant of the vehicle. Ford was suffering from obvious injuries, believed sustained in the vehicle crash described above, and was transported by Emergency Medical Officials for treatment at a nearby medical facility. At the time of Ford's arrest, a Glock, Model 22, .40 caliber, semiautomatic handgun, Serial Number MPA362, with one unfired .40 caliber cartridge chambered in the firearm, and a high capacity, 30 round magazine containing 24 unfired .40 caliber cartridges was discovered. This weapon was discovered lying on the surface of the roadway, immediately next to the driver's window, which was also on the surface of the roadway as a result of the vehicle being overturned in the above summarized vehicle crash. In the passenger compartment of the vehicle were two cellular telephones, collected as part of the inventory search of the vehicle, conducted prior to towing. In an effort to identify the owners of the cellular devices, officers illuminated the screens of the two devices. Each device displayed a single digital color image, one identifiable as Ford, the other identifiable as Stewart.
9. Investigators have determined Ford and Stewart were the only two occupants of the above identified vehicle at the time the vehicle stop was initiated, and Ford's subsequent flight from the location of the enforcement action initiated by officers.
* * *
13. Based on the information provided by the officers, investigators and detectives, observations made during surveillance operations conducted by these officials, your affiant believes that Stewart and Ford were each exercising dominion, control, and were in possession of the above described Glock, handguns, and did so knowing that they were both prohibited to possess any firearm, firearm parts, and/or firearm ammunition, as a result of each being a convicted felon.

(Doc. #1-1 at 1-3)

         On December 13, 2017, the Grand Jury returned a one-count Indictment against defendants Stewart and Ford. The Indictment charges that on November 29, 2017, defendants, aiding and abetting each other, and each having been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, did knowingly possess, in and affecting interstate commerce, firearms and ammunition, to wit: a Glock, Model 23, .40 caliber semiautomatic handgun, Serial Number BCDV608, with one .40 caliber cartridge chambered, with a high capacity magazine, containing twenty .40 caliber cartridges, in the firearm; and a Glock, Model 22, .40 caliber semiautomatic ...


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