Two more men have been sentenced to federal prison for their roles in a three-month armed robbery spree in the metro area that ended with a suspect fatally shot by law enforcement officers outside a Blue Springs business more than three years ago.
Demetrius Nelson, 26, of Kansas City, was sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Kansas City to eight years in prison without parole. Co-defendant Parrise “Kilo” Black, 27, of Grandview, was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years without parole.
The two men and five others were part of an armed robbery spree that hit 27 businesses in Blue Springs, Independence, North Kansas City, Raytown, Kansas City, Missouri, and Kansas City, Kansas, from Jan. 2 to March 24, 2016, including convenience stores, pharmacies and other businesses. Evidence from a co-defendant's trial also showed other uncharged robberies that took place during the three-month spree.
Nelson pleaded guilty in May 2018 to one count of conspiracy to commit robbery and four counts each of robbery and possessing a gun during a violent crime. Black pleaded guilty the same month to one count of conspiracy to commit robbery and three counts each of robbery and possessing a gun during a violent crime.
Most of the robberies followed a pattern: Two or three conspirators entered a business armed with handguns and wore gloves, tightly drawn hoodies and/or masks. They showed their handguns in a threatening manner and forced employees at gunpoint to hand over money. In one of the robberies a victim was shot. The men wore the same hoodies in nearly all robberies.
The robbery string ended in the pre-dawn hours of March 24, 2016, when two other co-defendants and Jermon Seals, 22, of Shawnee, Kansas, robbed the Walgreens at Missouri 7 and Duncan Road in Blue Springs. They had been followed by FBI agents, U.S. Marshals Service agents and Kansas City police. According to court documents, the men took money and cough syrup at gunpoint at the Walgreens, and when they left the officers confronted them outside the drugstore. The suspects disregarded repeated commands, and Seals turned and pointed a gun at the officers, who then fired at him, killing him.
In May, a federal jury found one of the other Walgreens robbers, 28-year-old Shannon Thomas of Kansas City, guilty of multiple counts. Thomas faces a minimum 70 years in prison. Deonte Collins-Abbott, 24, of Grandview, has pleaded guilty and is serving a 25-year sentence.
Co-defendants Kevin “Kilo Ali” Thompson-Randell, 23, of Kansas City, and Frank “Fonzi” Garner, 25, of Grandview, have also pleaded guilty and await sentencing.