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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
Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Two St. Joseph Men Plead Guilty to Heroin Trafficking, Illegal Firearms

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Two St. Joseph, Mo., men have pleaded guilty to their roles in a conspiracy to distribute heroin and to illegally possessing firearms.

Franklin T. Hicks Jr., also known as “Frankie,” 41, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Greg Kays to participating in a conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and to possessing firearms in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime. Co-defendant Roderick A. Hughes, 48, pleaded guilty on Friday, May 27, to his role in the drug-trafficking conspiracy and to one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime.

Hicks and Hughes admitted they participated in the heroin conspiracy from Sept. 1, 2019, to March 26, 2021.

Hicks was arrested outside of a hotel in St. Joseph on Jan. 22, 2021. He was in possession of 35.8 grams of heroin and $2,687 in cash. Officers also found a loaded Rock Island Armory .380-caliber handgun under the driver’s seat of his car and a Ruger 9mm handgun in the glovebox.

Law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Hughes’s apartment on Feb. 23, 2021, with both Hicks and Hughes present. They found a silver revolver on the kitchen table. They also found a loaded Glock 9mm handgun on a nightstand in the bedroom, a Stoeger 9mm handgun and a Jennings Bryco 9mm handgun on a shelf in the bedroom, and a black safe under the bed that contained 23.4 grams of heroin and $4,703 in cash. Officers also searched the garage and found three plastic bags with a total of 96.3 grams of heroin hidden in the rafters.

Co-defendant Harvey E. Johnson, 48, of Kansas City, Mo., pleaded guilty on Aug. 4, 2021, to participating in the conspiracy to distribute heroin. Johnson, who was in possession of approximately 51 grams of heroin at the time of his arrest, admitted that the drug-trafficking conspiracy involved at least two kilograms of heroin.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Byron H. Black. It was investigated by the St. Joseph, Mo., Police Department, the Buchanan County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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