KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Kansas City, Missouri, man was charged in federal court today with illegally possessing firearms, the first arrest under Operation LeGend, a federal partnership with local law enforcement agencies to address violent crime.
“Illegal drugs and illegal guns are a lethal combination,” Garrison said. “A fugitive from justice, driving a stolen vehicle and carrying stolen firearms, is a violent crime waiting to happen. Federal and local law enforcement worked together to bring him to justice and protect our community from further violence.”
Monty W. Ray, 20, was charged with being an unlawful drug user in possession of firearms in a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo. He remains in federal custody pending a detention hearing.
According to an affidavit filed in support of the federal criminal complaint, law enforcement officers saw Ray driving a vehicle that had been reported stolen in the area of 107th Street and Blue Ridge Boulevard in Kansas City, Mo., on July 17, 2020. Officers stopped Ray, who had active warrants for assaulting a law enforcement officer and fleeing (for an incident in which Ray ran over an officer’s foot and rammed his own vehicle into a patrol vehicle before escaping from officers in a pursuit that reached speeds of 110 miles per hour) as well as a probation violation. Ray fled from the vehicle on foot but was apprehended by officers.
Officers saw a loaded Glock 9mm semi-automatic handgun lying in plain view on the driver’s seat, the affidavit says. A loaded Sig Sauer 9mm semi-automatic handgun was found in the center console cup holder. Both firearms had been reported stolen. Officers searched the vehicle and found five rounds of 9mm ammunition and one .223-caliber round in the glove box of the vehicle. They also found a spent 9mm shell casing on the driver’s side floorboard of the vehicle.
Ray admitted to officers that he is an habitual user of marijuana, according to the affidavit, and that he has been smoking marijuana daily since he was 12 years old. He also admitted to using methamphetamine, most recently on the day before his arrest.
The charge contained in this complaint is simply an accusation, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charge must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert M. Smith. It was investigated by the Independence, Mo., Police Department and the U.S. Marshals Service.
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.