By Jeff Fox

Two Blue Springs residents are among 37 people, most of them from the Sedalia area, facing drug and weapons charges following a two-year federal investigation.

The U.S. attorney’s office for the Western District of Missouri on Thursday announced the indictments in six separate cases brought under Operation Coin Collector, led by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

In one case, John B. Thomas-Flowers, 30, of Blue Springs; Rashawn D. Cason, 26, of Blue Springs; and Jacob M. Goans, 20, of Raytown are among 16 people named in a 27-count indictment that a grand jury in Kansas City handed up on Tuesday. Thomas-Flowers and Cason are among 14 of those 27 charged with conspiracy to distribute five or more kilograms of cocaine and 280 or more grams of crack cocaine. Goans also is charged with possessing 11 stolen firearms, including a sawed-off shotgun.

In the six cases all together, those charged distributed cocaine and crack cocaine valued at more than $1 million, the U.S. attorney’s office says.

The investigation was focused on “significant violent crime and drug-trafficking activity” in the Sedalia area, the U.S. attorney’s office said, and it involved local police and sheriff’s departments in the Warsaw, Warrensburg and Sedalia areas.

A police sweep to find the defendants starting early Thursday morning included officers from independence, Kansas City, Knob Noster and Columbia, as well as the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the ATF, the U.S. Marshall’s Service, the Boone County Sheriff’s Department and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Airwing.

That sweep resulted in the arrests of 28 of the defendants. Five more were already in custody on other charges, and the U.S. attorney’s office said four remained fugitives.