A Kansas City, Kansas, man faces charges for allegedly ramming a stolen car into a checkpoint barrier at the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in eastern Independence.
A federal grand jury charged Eric K. Mendoza, 41, Tuesday in a three-count indictment. Tuesday’s indictment replaces a federal criminal complaint filed against him on Aug. 7.
Mendoza was charged with damaging the barrier when he allegedly accelerated through the Lake City checkpoint on Aug. 7. He was also charged with entering the plant without authorization and transporting a stolen vehicle across the state line.
According to court records, Mendoza was driving a stolen 1997 Cadillac DeVille when he pulled up to Lake City’s primary entry gate. When his identification was requested, he sped through the checkpoint. Guards then activated an in-ground steel barrier to stop the car.
The car Mendoza was driving struck the barrier, stopping it and causing an estimated $20,000 of damage to the barrier.
Mendoza fled on foot, traveling south. With help from the Independence Police Department’s K-9 unit and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Mendoza was located and apprehended.
Three clear plastic bags with a white crystalline substance were recovered from under the front edge of the driver’s seat of the Cadillac. Mendoza told police he had smoked methamphetamine the day before.