KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A previously convicted felon from Kansas City was convicted again in federal court Wednesday on multiple counts related to drug trafficking and illegally possessing firearms.
This conviction resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Kansas City (Mo.) Police Department.
Antonio M. Taylor, 30, of Kansas City, was found guilty of multiple charges contained in an Aug. 8, 2012 federal indictment. He was found guilty of the following crimes:
- Two counts of possessing crack cocaine with the intent to distribute;
- One count of possessing crack cocaine, marijuana and PCP with the intent to distribute;
- Three counts of possessing firearms in furtherance of drug-trafficking crimes; and
- Three counts of being a felon possessing a firearm.
According to evidence presented during the trial, law enforcement officers were conducting surveillance on Taylor's residence July 2, 2012. Taylor, who also had an active arrest warrant in Jackson County, Mo., for violating felony probation, left the apartment and walked toward a vehicle in the parking lot. When police officers approached him, Taylor fled and the officers pursued him on foot.
During the pursuit, Taylor changed directions and began running toward a pursuing officer while holding a 9mm pistol that he fired at the officer, who returned fire. The officer saw Taylor drop a large bag (later determined to be 32.9 grams of crack cocaine) as he ran. The officer took cover near a residence but continued to engage in the foot pursuit. When the officer rounded the edge of the residence, he saw Taylor attempting to climb a fence near the rear of the residence. Taylor fired his handgun again at the officer, who again returned fire. Taylor jumped the fence and stumbled and fell, and again turned toward the officer with the firearm still in his hand. The officer fired his firearm two more times at Taylor, at which time Taylor dropped his firearm. Taylor, who suffered several gunshot wounds, was taken into custody and transported to the emergency room. The officer was not injured.
Prior to this incident, Taylor had been involved in other drug-related pursuits by police. Police officers saw Taylor conducting a drug transaction March 7, 2012. Officers approached Taylor's car and Taylor drove off. A high-speed chase ensued and Taylor committed numerous traffic violations during the chase. Taylor jumped out of the vehicle and ran. Officers searched for Taylor and found him hiding in a storm drainage area. Officers found a loaded Glock .40-caliber pistol on the ground nearby. When they searched Taylor's vehicle, officers found a plastic baggie that contained 20.62 grams of crack cocaine.
On June 5, 2012, police officers were called to a vacant house in response to a report of a suspicious vehicle. They encountered Taylor who was the driver and the sole occupant of the vehicle. When officers asked Taylor to step out of the vehicle, he put the vehicle in drive and drove into the backyard of a residence where he crashed the vehicle head-on into a cinder block wall and ran from the scene. Officers found 80 grams of marijuana, a brown bottle containing PCP, 0.8 grams of crack cocaine, 12 unknown pills and another Glock .40-caliber pistol in the vehicle.
Under federal law, it is illegal for a convicted felon to possess any firearm or ammunition. Taylor has a prior felony conviction for shooting from a vehicle, four prior convictions for assault, and five prior convictions for armed criminal action.
Following the presentation of evidence, the jury deliberated for two hours before returning guilty verdicts, ending a trial that began Monday, Feb. 24, 2013.
Under federal statutes, Taylor is subject to a sentence of 60 years to life in federal prison without parole. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the U.S. Probation Office completes a pre-sentence investigation.