Two Kansas City, Kan., men accused of robbing a Lawrence Taco John's at gunpoint in December have had charges against them dropped in Douglas County District Court -- but that's not good news for them.
The charges have been removed to U.S. District Court, where defendants George O. Cannon, 46, and Michael A. Hussey, 38, now face a maximum sentence of life in prison.
They're charged federally with two offenses that don't exist under state law: disrupting interstate commerce with robbery and brandishing a firearm in a robbery.
"There's a number of reasons that go into our consideration (to remove charges to federal court), and not the least is the potential amount of time the individual would be facing," Douglas County Dist. Atty. Christine Kenney said.
Cannon and Hussey faced a maximum of 34 years in prison if convicted in Douglas County District Court for aggravated robbery and kidnapping -- but only if it was found that they had a lengthy criminal record.
Under federal law, they face at least seven years and up to life imprisonment for brandishing a firearm during a robbery. They also face up to 20 years for robbery and up to 10 years for being felons in possession of a firearm.
Cannon and Hussey are charged with binding two employees and robbing them of $855 on Dec. 26 inside the Taco John's at 1626 W. 23rd St.
An employee testified that one of the men had covered his face with a "snowman garland" Christmas decoration taken from the store.
Lawrence Police were alerted to the robbery by a drive-through customer. Cannon and Hussey were arrested on foot just a short time after the call was made.