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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Missouri
Teresa A. Moore, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Three KC Men Charged With Illegal Firearms Trafficking, Straw Purchases Related to Investigation of Mass Shooting at Super Bowl Rally

KC Man Purchased Dozens of Firearms, Several Recovered at Crime Scenes

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Three Kansas City, Mo., men have been charged in federal court for illegal firearms trafficking and straw purchases of firearms as a result of the investigation into the mass shooting at Union Station during the celebration of the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl victory on Feb. 14, 2024.

“These cases underscore the importance of enforcing federal firearms laws,” said U.S. Attorney Teresa Moore. “Stopping straw buyers and preventing illegal firearms trafficking is our first line of defense against gun violence. At least two of the firearms recovered from the scene of the mass shooting at Union Station were illegally purchased or trafficked. We work diligently with our law enforcement partners to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals by investigating and prosecuting those who illegally buy and sell dangerous weapons.”

“The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act has given ATF additional tools needed to go after straw purchasers and firearms traffickers who flood our streets with weapons that pose a threat to every single person in Kansas City,” said ATF Kansas City Field Division Special Agent in Charge Bernard Hansen. “These arrests serve as a notice to those who think they can illegally traffic guns into our communities or straw purchase firearms. The men and women of ATF will never waiver on our commitment to protect the public and to aggressively target firearms traffickers. The proliferation of illegal guns represents a grave danger to the public, but law enforcement is united and strong. I thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office and all our law enforcement partners for their diligent work and tireless dedication to our shared public safety mission.”

“While the events of February 14th will forever weigh heavy on our hearts, the effort of our federal partners and KCPD detectives is a testament to their service to Kansas City,” said Kansas City Police Chief Stacey Graves. “We will continue to hold those responsible for violence in our city accountable.”

One person was killed and more than 20 people were injured in the mass shooting at Union Station. According to court documents, 12 individuals brandished firearms and at least six individuals fired their weapons. The Kansas City, Mo., Police Department recovered several firearms, spent shell casings, and other items of evidentiary value from the scene.

Two Firearms Recovered from Scene of Mass Shooting

Two firearms recovered from the scene of the mass shooting are cited in two separate federal criminal complaints filed under seal in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo., on Monday, March 11. Those complaints were unsealed and made public today following the arrests of the defendants.

Fedo Antonia Manning, 22, was charged in a 12-count criminal complaint. Ronnel Dewayne Williams, Jr., 21, and Chaelyn Hendrick Groves, 19, were charged in a four-count federal criminal complaint.

One of the firearms recovered from the scene of the shooting was an Anderson Manufacturing AM-15 .223-caliber pistol. The loaded pistol was found along the wall with a backpack next to two AR-15-style firearms and backpacks. Because the pistol was in “fire” position and there were 26 live rounds in the magazine, which is capable of holding 30 rounds, it may have fired several rounds before it was discarded.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the federal criminal complaint, the AM-15 pistol was purchased by Manning from Frontier Justice in Lee’s Summit, Mo., on Aug. 7, 2022. The affidavit alleges that Manning illegally trafficked dozens of firearms, including many Anderson Manufacturing AM-15 firearms.

The second firearm recovered from the scene of the mass shooting was a Stag Arms 300-caliber pistol. According to an affidavit filed in the second federal criminal complaint, the pistol was purchased by Williams from The Ammo Box during a gun show at the KCI Expo Center on Nov. 25, 2023. Williams allegedly purchased the firearm for Groves, who accompanied him to the gun show but was too young to legally purchase the firearm himself.

The federal criminal complaints do not make any allegations that Manning, Williams or Groves were among the shooters at Union Station on Feb. 14. Rather, the federal charges involve the illegal straw purchases and trafficking of firearms.

Manning and Williams are alleged to have purchased firearm receivers, or frames, which house the firing mechanism and other internal parts of a firearm. The receiver can be loaded and fired, or built into a complete firearm by adding components that may not be regulated under federal law. By federal definition, a receiver is a firearm and is the only controlled component of a firearm.

USA v. Manning

Manning, who is not a licensed federal firearms dealer, allegedly purchased dozens of firearms. Fifteen of the firearms originally purchased by Manning were recovered by law enforcement officers in the possession of individuals other than Manning, including several individuals who were legally prohibited from possessing firearms.

The firearm recovered from the scene of the mass shooting at Union Station is one of seven firearms originally purchased by Manning that have been recovered during investigations of crimes. According to the affidavit, Manning purchased two Anderson Manufacturing AM-15 pistols from Frontier Justice on Aug. 7, 2022. In addition to the firearm recovered at Union Station, the second firearm purchased by Manning that day was later recovered from a stolen vehicle during the investigation of an armed robbery. Firearms also were recovered during investigations into a murder in Columbia, Mo., and the armed robbery of a local convenience store. Three firearms originally purchased by Manning were recovered by law enforcement from individuals who were prohibited from legally possessing firearms.

Manning also allegedly was the straw purchaser of seven firearms that were later sold to a confidential informant during a separate federal criminal investigation. The confidential informant, who was known to be a felon and therefore prohibited from possessing firearms, purchased a total of 27 firearms from two of Manning’s family members and their co-conspirators, who have been indicted in a separate federal case. In addition to those seven firearms, says the affidavit, federal investigators traced Manning’s purchase of 40 firearms over a nine-month period, including 33 Anderson Manufacturing AM-15 firearms, all of which were purchased as receivers.

The federal criminal complaint charges Manning with one count of conspiracy to traffic firearms, one count of engaging in firearm sales without a license, and 10 counts of making a false statement on a federal form. In each of these 10 purchases, Manning represented that he was the actual buyer of the firearm, but in fact these firearms were transferred to other persons shortly after he purchased them.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Trey Alford. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department and ATF.

USA v. Williams, et al

The federal criminal complaint charges Williams and Groves together in one count of conspiracy to make false statements in the acquisition of firearms and in one count of aiding and abetting making false statements in the acquisition of firearms. Williams and Groves are each charged separately in one count each of making a false statement to a federal agent.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the federal criminal complaint, Williams and Groves attended a gun show at the KCI Expo Center on Nov. 25, 2023, looking for receivers to buy. Groves, who was under the age of 21 and therefore too young to legally purchase a firearm receiver, allegedly gave money to Williams. Williams allegedly purchased the Stag Arms receiver for Groves.

Groves told investigators he purchased a 300-blackout upper to complete the firearm at another gun show about a month later. Groves also claimed the Stag Arms firearm was stolen during a “shootout.” Rather than report the firearm stolen, Groves said he just went to a gun show with a different friend who bought him another one. Groves showed investigators a video on his cell phone that included the firearm. According to the affidavit, the cell phone video showed an AR pistol lying on a flat surface, then panned out to show five other handguns.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jess Michaelsen. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department and ATF.

The charges contained in these complaints are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

Project Safe Neighborhoods

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 of Justice 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.


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