A federal judge has sentenced two drug traffickers to at least 30 years in prison for selling cocaine near a Kansas City, Kan., school where parents feared for their children’s safety.
The sentences stem from the “Operation Camera Shy” investigation into more than $4.2 million in cocaine sales from 2007 to 2010.
Authorities took action after neighborhood residents complained of conditions so bad they didn’t want children walking alone to Northwest Middle School.
The Kansas City, Kan., school board agreed to loosen its transportation policy to allow more children free busing. But it also prompted many parents and residents to start speaking up about the drug houses.
When the original indictment was announced Barry Grissom, U.S. attorney for Kansas, said the investigation sent a big message: “Stay away from our schools. Stay away from our kids. Stay away from our homes.”
Even as the indictment was being announced neighborhood officials were working to organize the neighborhood and keep it from further decline. At the same time, school officials were working on a reform plan for Northwest.
With the latest sentencings, 13 defendants have been sentenced to a total of almost 250 years in prison in the operation.
Still, the news is bittersweet for some community members because some of those indicted were from that neighborhood. Instead of being part of the neighborhood’s rebirth, the men will spend much of the rest of their lives in prison.
Marcus L. Quinn, 30, of Kansas City, Kan., was sentenced Monday to 30 years for crimes including conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine and more than 280 grams of crack cocaine, conspiracy to maintain drug houses and five counts of distributing crack cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school.
Willie F. Ford, 30, of Kansas City, Kan., was sentenced Monday to 35 years for crimes including conspiracy to distribute and possess more than five kilograms of cocaine and more than 280 grams of crack cocaine, conspiracy to maintain a drug house and distributing crack cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school.
Other defendants who have been sentenced are Mark A. Brooks, who got 35 years; Antonio Quinn, 25 years; Calvin D. Collins, 24 years; Steven L. Quinn, 20 years; Andrew J. Price, 20 years; Daniel C. Garcia, 12 years; Keyaun C. James, 14 years; Lavaughn J. Brown, 10 years; Adrian A. Melendez, nine years; Rocquel Jones-Quinn, seven years; and Janis Diggins, almost six years.