A 20-year-old Kansas City resident and known gang member, Ban N. To, has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison without parole. The sentencing was handed down by U.S. District Judge Greg Kays on Wednesday, Jan. 31. To pleaded guilty to charges of fentanyl trafficking, illegal possession of firearms, and possession of a machine gun, in a case that links drug trafficking with violent crime.
To’s sentence was longer than what the federal guidelines recommended. This was because of the seriousness of his crimes, particularly his connection to a fatal shooting that occurred in the Westport Entertainment District on April 15, 2023. While To was not officially charged with murder, evidence presented during the trial indicated his alleged involvement in the homicide. Surveillance footage clearly showed his participation in the deadly incident. Judge Kays, when handing down the 240-month sentence, took into account the evidence that pointed to To’s direct role in the killing.
The investigation into To’s activities started shortly after the Westport shooting. This led to the discovery of his involvement in distributing fentanyl. On June 21, 2023, To confessed to possessing fentanyl with the intention to distribute, carrying firearms while engaging in drug-trafficking activities, and having a machine gun. When To was arrested, a search of a red Toyota Highlander linked to him revealed a collection of weapons. These included a stolen Taurus .45-caliber handgun, a Glock 9mm, a Polymer80 9mm handgun without a serial number, and a Glock .40-caliber handgun that had been modified for automatic fire.
After an in-depth investigation, authorities were able to discover and seize nine more firearms that were connected to To. Among these firearms was a Romarm/Cugir Mini-Draco 7.62x39mm pistol, which forensic analysis confirmed was used in the April 15 homicide. Notably, To’s DNA was found on the trigger of the firearm, providing undeniable evidence of his involvement in the crime.
An associate of the Money Gang, a notorious violent gang in the metropolitan area, is now facing the repercussions of his actions in a case that highlights the connection between drug trafficking, illegal possession of firearms, and gang violence. The prosecution was led by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Q. McCarther, while the investigation was spearheaded by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department.
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