Archive for Saturday, April 2, 2011

Feds in Kansas take aim at violent repeat offenders

April 2, 2011


— Federal prosecutors in Kansas said this week they are getting tough with convicted felons who commit new gun crimes after the U.S. attorney general told U.S. attorneys across the country to do whatever it takes to remove violent criminals from the streets.

Barry Grissom, U.S. attorney for Kansas, said the aim of the initiative targeting violent repeat offenders is to increase community safety and protection for law enforcement officers.

He said it’s just a fact of life that some hardened criminals will never change their ways, so they need to be dealt as severely as federal law will allow.

“That person is not going to be rehabilitated,” Grissom said. “They’ll live a lifestyle of crime until he or she draws their last breath.”

At a news conference this week, Grissom said Attorney General Eric Holder issued the directive after 27 officers were killed nationwide in the past 15 months.

Grissom said it’s time to stop the revolving door through which violent offenders are sentenced at the state level, serve modest sentences and then are released back into the community, where some revert to the lifestyles that landed them in prison in the first place.

“I want to send a message,” Grissom said. “If you’re using a gun to commit a crime, you’re the target. If you’re caught and convicted, you’re going to federal prison.”

The U.S. attorney said he has asked county prosecutors across the state to turn over to his office cases in which a convicted felon is charged with new violent crimes.

“What the attorney general asked us to do, ’give us a list of folks who have been repeat offenders,’” Grissom said. “If you have them, why not give them to us?”

Not only are prison sentences at the federal level far harsher than punishment under state laws for the same crimes, but they come with no chance for parole. As an example, Grissom announced indictments against four convicted felons who are accused of armed robberies this year in the Kansas City metro area.

Two of them — Abasi Baker, 31, and Mark Davis, 33, both of Kansas City, Mo. — are accused of seven armed robberies, including four payday loan companies, two Radio Shack stores and a Dollar Store.

The other two defendants, Donnell Roberson, 25, and Jerome Brown, 20, are accused of robbing an Everyday Convenience Store in Kansas City, Kan., in January. In that robbery, the store clerk shot one of the robbers as they fled, causing the wounded man to drop a .38-caliber revolver.

Half an hour after the robbery, Roberson showed up at a hospital with a gunshot wound that had caused both of his lungs to collapse, prosecutors said.

Under federal sentencing guidelines, all four men could be sent to prison for life if convicted. Grissom said those sentences might be much shorter if the defendants were convicted in state courts.

He said the new Kansas effort mirrors strategies already being practiced by the U.S. attorney’s office in Kansas City, Mo.

The key to the crackdown’s success will be cooperation among local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to identify and convict felons who commit violent crimes.

Kansas City, Kan., Police Chief Rick Armstrong said he supports anything that will take violent offenders off the streets.

“From a police viewpoint, I want them out of our jurisdiction as long as possible,” Armstrong said. “There’s a revolving door where some are coming back to the community sooner than we’d like.”

Messages left with the attorneys for Baker, Davis and Roberson on Friday were not immediately returned. It was unclear after a review of electronic public records and a call to the federal public defender’s office in Kansas City, Kan., whether Brown had acquired counsel.


panzermike007 3 years ago

Isn't this guy related to those people arrested for selling stolen property? I believe I have read some of his rants before.


smitty 3 years ago

Of course it's a good thing back door way, bubba..didn't say other wise. The feds are only stepping it up in the KCK federal court system......the laws are already in place. CCA needs inmates at $2,700 per month so the feds are working in cooperation to keep the private prison in business. Wouldn't have happened other wise.....Politics to get the laws that are already on the books enforced only because the cells need filling.


panzermike007 3 years ago

this Smitty guy sounds like he is off his rocker!


somebodynew 3 years ago

Well, Smitty even tho I can be known to believe in conspiracy plots, I hold no candle to you where everything in LE is a greater conspiracy of some sort.

I personally chose to believe that the LE community (and much of the rest of society) is tired of seeing people victimized and cops killed by repeat offenders. And for that I applaud the Feds for stepping up. You notice there is no New law, just enforcement of what is already there. I think this is a good thing.


smitty 3 years ago

What's behind this new push to enforce laws already on the books?

The for profit prisons, most especially the one owned and operated by CCA, a highly sued corporation for mistreatment of inmates.In Leavenworth there is a major move out of inmates that should have been re-assigned and moved months ago. The inmate numbers are getting quite low in Leavenworth's CCA.

[Lawsuits pending for CCA]

Right now there is concern over the rumors about the future of Leavenworth CCA's ability to remain open due to both CCA's problems/complaints and the low number of inmates.

There is/was a high number of Hispanic immigration offenders that kept the numbers up for a time period but seems to be in flux downward under Obama's term.. Immigration enforcement is changing as is the numbers.

Enforcement of the laws on violent offenders by the federal system means that the prison's inmate numbers for CCA go up and then can justify the problem corporate maximum security prison at Leavenworth. The KCK federal system feeds inmates to the Leavenworth facility .

It always gets down to money. Those violent offenders we've been reading about and questioning why they are even on the streets will now be prosecuted to justify the prison's existence, not primarily because they are violent but because CCA needs the numbers. This could change again in the future when the feds again decide to enforce laws on the books of ignore them depending on the politics of the days.

At least by defect the politics of this move is a partial improvement. The violent offenders will be imprisoned in a maximum security problem facility but the federal prosecutor system will always be subject to enforcing the laws based in politics not as the laws are written.

The current assist warden, Phillip Valdez, was the warden of the Idaho CCA that was in the news for his prison's brutality and lawsuits.

Pevar blames the violence on CCA and the former warden, Phillip Valdez, who was head of the prison when Elabed was attacked. Valdez was later transferred to another CCA prison in Kansas. The company refused to disclose its reason for moving him.

BTW, I beleive that the monthly amount that CCA receives is $2,700 per inmate, even when CCA only serves up a bologna sandwich, an orange, a cookie three times a day for meals, all the while during a lock down over the heavy snow then the woman went berserk over having her meds cut.

All the same there is a low number of inmates, rumors of closing, federal intervention to keep them open by enforcing laws we have begged to have enforced @ $2,700 per arrest on those weapon charges for violent offenders. What a great system USA/Ks has.sic


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