KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – A Kansas City, Missouri, man pleaded guilty in federal court today to illegally possessing a firearm after leading police officers on a high-speed chase.
Raymond L. Pierce, 22, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Roseann Ketchmark to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
By pleading guilty today, Pierce admitted that he illegally possessed a loaded Glock 9mm handgun on Dec. 28, 2019. Pierce also admitted that he was in possession of a Smith and Wesson .40-caliber semi-automatic handgun and a Glock 9mm extended magazine on July 9, 2020.
Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Pierce has a prior felony conviction for possession of a controlled substance.
On Dec. 28, 2019, a Jackson County Sheriff’s Deputy was working uniformed, but off-duty, patrolling the area around nightclubs that were letting out on Southwest Boulevard in Kansas City, Mo., at 2:36 a.m. As he was trying to move people out of the street, the deputy saw in his rear-view mirror a green Ford Mustang approaching him without its headlights on at a high rate of speed. The Mustang quickly changed lanes to avoid the deputy’s car and individuals in the street moved back to ensure not being hit. The deputy attempted to pull the Mustang over, but the Mustang fled and the deputy discontinued the chase.
At 3:05 a.m., a different Jackson County sheriff’s deputy was traveling eastbound on 1-670 just east of the Broadway overpass in Kansas City, Mo., and saw a green Ford Mustang crash into the center mediate concrete barrier and guard rail. The deputy stopped to render aid. As he approached the green Mustang, he saw Pierce, who was on probation, standing outside the driver’s door. As the deputy approached him, Pierce climbed back inside the vehicle, reached across the center console, and placed his hand down near the passenger side floorboard. The deputy directed Pierce to exit the vehicle and show his hands, and Pierce refused. Once back-up arrived, officers were able to get Pierce out of the vehicle. Pierce said his leg and mouth hurt, and officers ordered EMS. The car was inventoried prior to being towed and officers found the loaded Glock 9mm handgun under the front passenger seat. The serial number on the barrel of the Glock was filed off and the serial number plate had been removed.
On July 9, 2020, law enforcement officers were conducting surveillance on Pierce, who had felony arrest warrants. They saw Pierce driving a silver Dodge Avenger with two passengers. Pierce drove to a house in Raytown, Mo., where all three went into the house. When they returned to the car, they placed a backpack in the back seat. Investigators attempted to pull Pierce over, but Pierce fled, disregarding stop signs and light signals. Investigators used aerial surveillance to track Pierce to a gas station in Kansas City, Kansas, where they again attempted to take him into custody. Pierce refused to comply again and fled, striking a law enforcement vehicle in his escape.
Aerial surveillance continued to track Pierce. At one point in his flight, Pierce drove through the area of 40th Street and Genesee Street in Kansas City, Mo. Officers received a call from that area about a car traveling at a high rate of speed the wrong way, which threw out a firearm and a Louis Vuitton backpack. Officers responded to the location and found a Smith and Wesson .40-caliber semi-automatic handgun. Inside the Louis Vuitton backpack, officers found the Glock 9mm handgun, the Glock 9mm extended magazine, and 115 grams of marijuana. Investigators later identified Pierce’s Facebook account. Posted to that account was a photograph of Pierce with the Louis Vuitton backpack.
Arial surveillance tracked Pierce to a Grandview residence, where he and the two passengers left the car and went into the house. Officers found Pierce hiding in the basement.
Under federal statutes, Pierce is subject to a sentence of up to 10 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.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean T. Foley. It was investigated by the FBI, the Jackson County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, and the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department.
Project Safe Neighborhoods
The U.S. Attorney’s Office is partnering with federal, state, and local law enforcement to specifically identify criminals responsible for significant violent crime in the Western District of Missouri. A centerpiece of this effort is Project Safe Neighborhoods, a program that brings together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make neighborhoods safer for everyone. Project Safe Neighborhoods is an evidence-based program that identifies the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develops comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, Project Safe Neighborhoods focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.