A fourth man has pleaded in guilty to federal charges in a case involving a drug-trafficking conspiracy that included the kidnap and torture two years ago of an Independence man who allegedly had stolen a biker gang's drug money.
Richard Phoenix, also known as “Snake,” pleaded guilty Monday in federal court in Kansas City to one count of conspiracy to commit kidnapping. The 76-year-old Holmes faces up to life in federal prison without parole and is to be sentenced at a later date.
Randal Holmes, also known as “Peckerwood” or “Wood,” and his son Gerald, also known as “Jerry” or “Joker,” have pleaded guilty to multiple charges in the case and await sentencing, and Jeremy Bond of Independence has pleaded guilty to his role in funding the drug-trafficking conspiracy.
According to his plea agreement and the other men's pleas, Phoenix's co-conspirators bought at least 120 pounds of marijuana in Colorado, paying between $1,600 and $2,400 per pound. According to court documents from the state charges that preceded the federal ones, the kidnapping victim had made several drug runs for the Galloping Goose Motorcycle Club. But in September 2016, Gerald and Randal Holmes kidnapped the victim because he had taken the latest bunch of cash and the car given to him, and had parked the car at Kansas City International Airport and flown to Denver and then Las Vegas, where he spent the money.
The Holmes pair kidnapped the victim by going to his father's house and having him call his son and tell him he was being held a gunpoint and needed to come to the house right away. When the victim arrived, they pointed a gun at him, told him to get in the vehicle and then drove away to another conspirator's house, beating him up along the way.
Phoenix met them at the house, and the victim was taken to a basement and beaten with fists and a ball-peen hammer. The men also threatened to cut off his fingers and toes using tin snips, demanding to know where a duffel bag of money was, and according to state documents gave him methamphetamine when we went unconscious so he could wake up and be beaten again. Phoenix then held the victim at gunpoint until the Holmes pair returned.
The father and son then drove the victim to a home in rural Benton County, reportedly owned by a member of a support biker gang, where he was beaten again. They then told the victim to call his father and tell him he was OK, had taken a beating that he deserved and would be home in a couple days.
Law-enforcement officials traced the phone call and found the victim the day after the kidnapping took place. They saw his face was swollen and bloodied, and he also had injuries to his head, hands and feet and had trouble walking.