For Immediate Release
Springfield Rapper Pleads Guilty to Illegal Firearms
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A Springfield, man who was part of a local rap group pleaded guilty in federal court today to illegally possessing firearms.
Ezekiel Josiah King, 20, pleaded guilty before U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge David P. Rush to one count of being an unlawful user of a controlled substance in possession of firearms.
Co-defendant Jardell Carlin Williams, 20, pleaded guilty on May 16, 2023, to two counts of being an unlawful user of a controlled substance in possession of firearms.
By pleading guilty today, King admitted he was in possession of a loaded Glock .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol, with an extended magazine that contained 29 rounds, and an Anderson AM-15 multi-caliber rifle, loaded with 31 rounds of .223-caliber ammunition, on Feb. 15, 2022. King was driving a gold Nissan Altima that was stopped by Springfield police detectives. In addition to the firearms, detectives found another extended magazine and two factory Glock magazines under the driver’s seat.
Williams, a passenger in the vehicle, admitted he was in possession of a Glock .40-caliber semi-automatic pistol. Detectives also located two more boxes of ammunition in the front floorboard.
Williams also admitted that he was in possession of a C3 Defense 5.56-caliber semi-automatic pistol when a vehicle, in which he was a passenger, was stopped by law enforcement on Oct. 22, 2022. The C3 Defense AR-style pistol was tentatively identified as being used in three shooting incidents in the Kansas City, Missouri, and Kansas City, Kansas, areas.
Both King and Williams admitted they regularly smoked marijuana.
Under federal statutes, King is subject to a sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison without parole. Williams is subject to a sentence of up to 25 years 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 defendants will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.
A sentencing hearing for Williams is scheduled on Feb. 5, 2024. King’s sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie L. Wan. It was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Greene County, Missouri, Sheriff’s Department; and the Springfield, Missouri, Police Department.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities and measuring the results.