Recordings from a wire-tap serve as part of the evidence against a suspect accused of membership in a Columbia gang, according to Lawrence E. Miller, assistant U.S. attorney.
Miller presented his evidence against Cheviss Caron Denny, 20, Monday in the central division of the U.S. Court for the Western District of Missouri in Jefferson City.
Denny will plead not guilty to charges of conspiring to distribute controlled substances, possessing with intent to distribute a cocaine base, using a communications facility to assist in the conspiracy to distribute illegal substances and participating in another conspiracy involving competing with individuals for drug-trafficking, possessing illegal firearms and firing a gun into a group of two or more people.
According to Miller, the wire-tap recorded Denny and co-defendant Eric Coats discussing narcotics over the phone. A separate tape recorded him explaining that police had found his gun that he had thrown away. That recording was made after Denny was seen running away from police on June 23, 2008, Miller said. Denny is suspected of having dropped a handgun and a small amount of cocaine as he ran.
Denny's attorney, Gerald D. Mueller, added that no charges were filed in state court relating to the weapon.
Denny is charged in connection with a May 31 drive-by shooting at the Petro Mart on Falling Leaf Lane in Columbia. He is also accused of having been present at another drive-by shooting on June 2, 2007, at the Break Time on Smiley Lane.
Miller said that when Denny was arrested Jan. 29, cocaine residue and a jar of marijuana were found at the residence. The residue was on two electronic scales.
Mueller had no additional evidence to present but said Denny does not have any prior felonies, is a life-long resident of Boone County and has never failed to show up for a court appearance.
Miller said that at the time of Denny's arrest, he was on probation for a misdemeanor assault.
Magistrate Judge William A. Knox granted the motion to detain Denny without bond until his trial. He and his co-defendants are scheduled to be tried on July 20.
Co-defendants include Donna C. Coats, 39, Michael Lee Stapleton, 22, and Robert Darnell Simmons, 36. They will all be detained without bond in accordance with their hearings on Monday. A total of 16 suspected members of the Cut Throat gang were indicted in connection to crimes including drug-trafficking conspiracies, drive-by shootings and possession of illegal firearms.