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Suspected gang leader to be detained until trial

Thursday, February 5, 2009 | 7:16 p.m. CST; updated 11:09 p.m. CST, Thursday, February 5, 2009

JEFFERSON CITY — Assistant U.S. Attorney Lawrence Miller identified Eric Sherron Coats as the leader of the Cut Throat gang in court Thursday.

Coats was detained without bond Thursday in the central division of the U.S. Court for the Western District of Missouri in Jefferson City.

Magistrate Judge William A. Knox ruled to detain the suspected leaderalong with co-defendant Tarron Montez Cason, 25, without bond until trial, scheduled to begin July 20. Both have entered pleas of not guilty on all counts.

Miller said that evidence collected from 60 days of wiretap recordings of Coats' phone led to the identification of Coats, 21, as the leader of the gang. The wiretaps are suspected to have recorded him discussing drugs, rival gangs, gun violence and the drive-by shootings in which Coats and other co-defendants are accused of having participated. Miller stated that this type of call occurred multiple times a day.

Coats' attorney, Brian K. Stumpe, said Coats would not be a flight risk if released on bond because he had a chance to flee his house after he was informed that the FBI would be coming to arrest him. Instead, he remained at the house and allowed the FBI to search his home, Stumpe said.

Knox granted the prosecution's request to detain Coats despite Stumpe's evidence and letters from Coats' family members, employers and teachers.

Coats is charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, possession with intent to distribute cocaine base, use of a communications facility to assist in the distribution of illegal substances, possession of a firearm while being addicted to a controlled substance, and involvement in another conspiracy entailing competition with other individuals for drug-trafficking, illegal possession of firearms and firing a gun into a group of two or more people.

Wiretaps are also suspected to have recorded Cason talking to Coats about narcotics. Cason has also been convicted of one earlier narcotics felony in Boone County, along with at least 23 misdemeanor convictions, according to Miller. Cason's attorney, Randall England, said Cason could present an alibi defense.

Cason is charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, possession with intent to distribute cocaine base and use of a communications facility to aid in the distribution of controlled substances.

Coats and Cason are two of the 16 suspected gang members listed in a 34-count indictment. The co-defendants include Coats' mother,Donna C. Coats, and a brother, Koda Alshawn Coats.


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Comments

joseph johnson February 27, 2009 | 12:53 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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