Two Kansas City pleaded guilty Monday to federal charges in connection with a string of 10 armed robberies at area businesses, including four in Independence.
Jerry Patterson, 22, and Michael Harris, 19, pleaded guilty in federal court in Kansas City to armed robbery conspiracy and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a violent crime. They admitted to 10 armed robberies, all but one within a four-week period.
According to court documents, on Oct. 15, 2017, Patterson and Harris stole $3,500 at gunpoint from Walgreens Pharmacy, 1536 E. 23rd St. They drove Patterson's red 2007 Pontiac, and after officers noticed the vehicle, the two men abandoned it and ran away. Investigators then searched the vehicle and found a handgun and magazine, money from the robbery and a number of items used in several armed robberies. They also found, in a nearby wooded area, another handgun seen in several surveillance videos.
Five days later, Patterson reported his car stolen. Then, on Oct. 31, Harris and Patterson were arrested at their respective apartments. Officers found evidence from numerous robberies at the each of their residences.
Besides the Walgreens on 23rd, Harris and Patterson admitted to armed robbery at the Walgreens at 2261 Sterling Ave., Domino's Pizza at 3709 Noland Road and Family Dollar, 12521 E. U.S. 40 in Independence. They also robbed a Walgreens, Dollar General and CVS Pharmacy in Raytown, a CVS Pharmacy, 7 Eleven and Walgreens in south Kansas City. On Sept. 26 and Oct. 14, they committed multiple armed robberies.
Harris and Patterson each face at least 15 years and up to 25 years in federal prison without parole. They will be sentenced at a later date. The case was investigated by the FBI and Kansas City, Independence and Raytown police.