Another suspect pleads guilty in Cut Throat case

Friday, September 25, 2009 | 6:17 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Another suspected member of the Cut Throat gang pleaded guilty to federal charges Friday.

Demarco Laron Burnett, 26, of Columbia, was charged with conspiring to distribute controlled substances and two counts of possessing with intent to distribute cocaine base. He pleaded in the central division of U.S. Western District Court of Missouri in Jefferson City.

Burnett and 15 others were indicted in January by a federal grand jury for drug and gun charges related to alleged gang activity after an 18-month investigation by local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. It was the first time the Columbia Police Department officially acknowledged gang activity in Columbia.

Burnett is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence for possession of controlled substances, distribution of controlled substances and operating a motor vehicle with a revoked driver’s license, according to the Missouri Department of Corrections and Missouri

Burnett is the 12th of 16 people charged with similar drug felonies to plead guilty to the 45-count grand jury indictment filed for the second time in April. The date of their sentencing hearings is yet to be determined.

The remaining four defendants who have pleaded not guilty — Donna C. Coats, Diondre Jamel Cooper, Brandon James Isom, and William Harold Rogers — are scheduled to be tried on Oct. 5  before Federal Judge Nanette K. Laughrey.

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