Six more sentences announced in Cut Throat gang case

Friday, April 9, 2010 | 7:18 p.m. CDT; updated 5:50 p.m. CDT, Monday, April 12, 2010

COLUMBIA — Sentences have been handed down for six more defendants connected to the Cut Throat gang, U.S. Attorney Beth Phillips said in a statement Friday. They join four others Cut Throat defendants who were sentenced on Thursday.

The 10 are among 16 accused of being associated with the Cut Throat gang. A grand jury indictment filed in April 2009 alleged that from January 2007 to January 2009, the defendants trafficked cocaine and marijuana and were involved in several gun-related incidents, including three drive-by shootings in Columbia and Jefferson City.

Those sentenced in federal court in Jefferson City on Thursday include:

  • Brandon James Isom, 20, of Columbia, sentenced to 20 years and two months in federal prison without parole;
  • Robert Lee Jones, 20, of Kansas City, 10 years and one month without parole;
  • Michael Lee Stapleton, 24, of Fayette, 10 years without parole;
  • Donna C. Coats, 40, of Columbia, eight years without parole;
  • Diondre Jamel Cooper, 21, of Columbia, five years without parole;
  • Ryan Montez Kee, 24, of Columbia, three years and one month without parole.

Isom, Jones, Cooper and Stapleton were connected to a retaliatory drive-by shooting on May 31, 2008, at the Petro Mart gas station at 3300 Falling Leaf on May 31, 2008, according to the release. One man was shot in the mouth but survived.

Isom had been shot a month earlier by a member of a rival gang called Louie Bound, prosecutors said, and also sought revenge for a June 2007 shooting at the Break Time gas station on Smiley Lane in which a Louie Bound gang member shot a member of the Cut Throats as part of a turf war.

Isom, Stapleton and Kee also pleaded guilty to drug-dealing charges. Coats and Jones pleaded guilty to "using a telephone to facilitate the commission of a drug-trafficking conspiracy," according to the U.S. attorney. Jones also pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm — a loaded Norinco SKS assault rifle, which he had in addition to ammo and a bullet-proof vest.

The four others sentenced Thursday:

  • Koda Alshawn Coats, 23, of Columbia, 18 years and four months without parole;
  • Eric Sherron Coats, 22, of Columbia, 15 years without parole;
  • Demarco Laron Burnett, 25, of Columbia, 10 years without parole;
  • Cheviss Caron Denny, 22, of Columbia, 10 years without parole.

The convictions are the result of a joint investigation conducted by the FBI, the DEA, the Columbia Police Department, the Boone County Prosecutor's Office, the Boone County Sheriff's Department, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Missouri Department of Corrections.

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