KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Two Kansas City men who led 246, a violent street gang, were sentenced in federal court Monday, Sept. 18 for their roles in a drug-trafficking conspiracy and other violent criminal behavior that included illegal firearms and a drive-by shooting outside a daycare center where children were present.
Ladele D. Smith, also known as “Dellio” and “Dog,” 36, and Roy Franklin, Jr., 33, were sentenced in separate appearances before U.S. District Judge Greg Kays. Smith was sentenced to 35 years in federal prison without parole. Franklin was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison without parole.
On Sept. 15, 2022, Smith and Franklin were found guilty at trial of participating in a conspiracy to distribute heroin, cocaine, oxycodone, and marijuana from Jan. 1, 2011, to Oct. 1, 2019. Smith was also convicted of 15 additional counts that charged him with various drug-trafficking and firearms crimes, including a drive-by shooting and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence. Franklin was also convicted of nine additional counts that charged him with various drug-trafficking and firearms crimes, including the drive-by shooting and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence.
Co-defendants David J. Duncan, IV, also known as “Deej” or “DJ,” 34, and Gary O. Toombs, 43, both of Kansas City, also were convicted during the same trial and are scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 26, 2023.
The investigation into the 246 street gang, operating in the Kansas City metropolitan area, began in June 2017. The gang is an alliance of gang members from the 24th, 43rd, and 68th streets of Kansas City, Missouri. Smith was identified as a leader of the gang, and Franklin, Duncan and Toombs as members of the gang.
Smith and Duncan are local rap artists who often posted to social media platforms, such as YouTube, with references to the 246 gang. In some of the videos, Smith and others show firearms and large amounts of cash. The social media posts also portrayed Smith and others wearing expensive jewelry, watches, hats, and clothing that depicted 246 gang affiliation.
Smith only made about $300 from his music, according to court documents, but he spent about $54,000 at Halls Department Store between 2017 and 2019, and spent more than $27,000 on rental cars from Enterprise during that time. Those financial records don’t include the money spent on other luxury items (such as clothes, shoes, and accessories) seized by law enforcement from Smith’s residence.
Members of the 246 gang used a residence in the 4400 block of Kensington, which is within 1,000 feet of George Washington Carver Dual Language School, a public elementary school, for gang and drug-trafficking business. No one utilized the house as a primary or permanent residence. On Oct. 2, 2019, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at the house and seized heroin as well as two assault rifles and a stolen vehicle that had been used in a drive-by shooting the previous month. Officers also found a Glock 9mm semi-automatic pistol and a Century Arms International 7.62x39mm pistol under the couch in the living room and a Glock .40-caliber semi-automatic pistol on the kitchen cabinet.
Smith was arrested at his apartment on Oct 2, 2019. Officers searched his residence and found codeine, $31,601 in cash, and jewelry valued at over $40,000.
Duncan was also arrested at his apartment on Oct. 2, 2019. Officers searched his residence and found a Zastava 7.62 x 39mm rifle, a Norinco 7.62 x 39mm rifle, a Glock 9mm semi-automatic pistol, two loaded rifle magazines, and a loaded handgun magazine under the bed in a bedroom. Officers found $7,100 in cash and four bags of pills that contained oxycodone in the living room.
Smith, Franklin and Toombs also were found guilty at trial of participating in a conspiracy to possess firearms in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime.
In addition to the two conspiracies, Smith was found guilty of one count of drive-by shooting, one count of discharging a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, one count of maintaining a drug-involved premises, one count of distributing marijuana, one count of distributing marijuana near a school (within 1,000 feet of George Washington Carver Dual Language School), four counts of distributing heroin, and four counts of distributing heroin near a school (within 1,000 feet of George Washington Carver Dual Language School).
In addition to the two conspiracies, Franklin was found guilty of one count of drive-by shooting, one count of discharging a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, one count of maintaining a drug-involved premises, two counts of distributing marijuana and two counts of distributing marijuana near a school (within 1,000 feet of George Washington Carver Dual Language School).
Duncan also was found guilty of possessing oxycodone the intent to distribute, one count of possessing firearms in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime, and five counts of money laundering related to the purchases of money orders with drug-trafficking proceeds.
Toombs also was found guilty of maintaining a residence for the purpose of manufacturing, distributing, and using controlled substances.
Fourteen co-defendants in this case have pleaded guilty and been sentenced.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ashleigh Ragner, Mary Kate Butterfield and Ben Hurst. It was investigated by the FBI, the Kansas City Police Department, IRS-Criminal Investigation, and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.