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Fourth suspect in Columbia gang case to plead not guilty

Tuesday, February 3, 2009 | 6:46 p.m. CST

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.


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Comments

joseph johnson February 27, 2009 | 12:51 p.m.

Criminals and the Columbia Police Department
By Johnsonjoseph

Posted February 27, 2009 at 12:44 a.m.

What about our uniformed officers that are supposed to protect and serve? This article is in regards to the Columbia Police Department and Detective Joe Jackson. Our community has received a tip from one of Detective Joe Jackson's own men. Wow!! we don't know what to think about this. Looks like Detective Jackson and his crew have been working on, and doing top secret surveillance on a few people in regards to defrauding the Social Services Welfare program (FoodStamp Program). This operation has been going on for about a year or so. I'm sure for the criminal's out there they sure do appreciate that detective giving them the heads up. I guess that's what friends are for. It's allways good to have connections on the inside. There is an article listed on MYSPACE about this situation. I am going to quote some key factors. It seems as if Joe Jackson is not liked in this town. Looks like he hasn't been able to get these gun charges to stick on some of these so-called gang members. Cases are being dismissed due to lack of evidence. What's wrong with that picture? The article on MY SPACE refers to detective Jackson and his crew "THE GOONE SQUAD". WOW, what a name for the CPD Detectives. Looks like these young kids don't trust the police enough to tell them what they want to know. Well I guess I don't blame them if you got one on the inside tipping the criminals off. These cops lie just as much and even more than the people on the street. The MYSPACE ARTICLE also says that "The Detective Goon's will be posted up (sitting) at every grocery store in Columbia, Walmart Super Center in particular. They will be waiting for people to go inside and use other's EBT cards. Once you do you will be arrested. Those that have been under surveillance will be arrested anyway. MYSPACE also has photographs showing these unmarked undercover vehicles that we would probable never have noticed if it weren't for these photo's (the photo's aren't very good, though). This sting is due to go down sometime next week!! This operation could prove to be very dangerous to innocent by standers. One of these criminals could react in a very violent way. Here are some of the license plate #'s posted: Blue Chev Truck (BWE-442), Burgundy Ford Explorer (WB6-W3B), Blue Durango (5CS-67G), Tan Chev Truck w/extended cap (SUE-910), Orange color car similar to a scion with tinted windows, white truck (644-PYI), Chev Truck (2YF-295), Black Truck (2AB-329) extended cab, Tan Truck (9UE-310), Green Chevrolet Silverado (343-R24). Wow, this seems to be a really poor job of surveillance. But, I pretty much expect this from Columbia's Finest!! All of you good people in Columbia be careful and all of the criminals do thank one of the Crew of Detective Joe Jackson!!!

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