For Immediate Release
Grandview Man Pleads Guilty to Illegally Possessing Firearm
Sold Firearm, Stolen From Police Officer, to Undercover Federal Agent
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Grandview, Mo., man who used his Snapchat account to sell illegal drugs and firearms pleaded guilty in federal court today to illegally possessing a firearm after selling a stolen handgun to an undercover federal agent.
Antonio Johnson, 20, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Brian C. Wimes to one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime.
An undercover agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives arranged four controlled purchases of marijuana from Johnson in July and August 2020. Johnson was active on social media, especially the social media platform Snapchat. Investigators observed numerous videos and photos of Johnson on his Snapchat account, many of which show Johnson smoking what appears to be marijuana and displaying firearms and large amounts of cash. Johnson often appeared to be advertising he sale of suspected marijuana and firearms.
When Johnson met the undercover agent for the first transaction, he was armed with a pistol placed between the driver’s seat and center console of the vehicle he was driving, and a black rifle sitting on the lap of a passenger in the vehicle.
On Aug. 31, 2020, the undercover federal agent contacted Johnson and told him she wanted to purchase a pistol from him, and they agreed on a price of $450. On Sept. 1, 2020, Johnson met the undercover agent at his apartment and handed her a Glock 9mm semi-automatic handgun and a baggie that contained 29 grams of marijuana for which she paid a total of $680 ($450 for the pistol and $230 for the marijuana). The pistol had been stolen from the personal vehicle of a Grain Valley, Mo., police officer in August 2020. Johnson also agreed to get her more firearms.
Under federal statutes, Johnson is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of life in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Trey Alford. It was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Operation LeGend is a federal partnership with local law enforcement to address the increase in homicides and violent crime in Kansas City, Mo., in 2020. The operation honors the memory of four-year-old LeGend Taliferro, one of the youngest fatalities during a record-breaking year of homicides and shootings. Additional federal agents were assigned to the operation from the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the U.S. Marshals Service.