Indictment: Gun Deal in Parking Lot Went Badly for Felon

KANSAS CITY, KAN. – A Kansas City, Kan., man was indicted Thursday on federal charges of assaulting an undercover officer after she paid him $400 for a handgun, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said.

Nicholas Newman, 19, Kansas City, Kan., was charged with one count of robbery, one count of assaulting a federal officer, one count of brandishing a firearm in a crime of violence and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon.

An affidavit filed in the case alleges that on Feb. 6, 2020, Newman met the undercover officer in the parking lot of a Sunfresh grocery store at 241 S. 18th Street in Kansas City, Kan. The agent gave Newman $400 and he gave her a .45 caliber Ruger Model P234 pistol. She asked if the gun came with a clip and he said it did. Then Newman reached for the firearm and tried to pull it away from her. During the struggle, the agent shouted for help and a second agent grabbed Newman from behind.

If convicted, Newman could face up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on the charge of felon in possession of a firearm, up to 25 years on the robbery count, up to 20 years on the assault count and not less than five years on the charge of brandishing a firearm. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sheri Catania is prosecuting. This case is being prosecuted under Project Guardian, a Justice Department initiative focused to reducing gun violence.

OTHER INDICTMENTS

Cory Castro, 28, Lawson, Mo., is charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, one count of unlawful possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon. The crimes are alleged to have occurred July 21, 2019, in Johnson County, Kan.

If convicted, he could face not less than five years in federal prison and a fine up to $5 million on the methamphetamine charge, not less than five years and a fine up to $250,000 on the charge of possessing a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking and up to 10 years and a fine up to $250,000 on the charge of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon. The Lenexa Police Department and the FBI investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Huschka is prosecuting.

Perfecto Morales-Santiago, 42, who is not a citizen of the United States, is charged with one count of unlawfully re-entering the United States after being deported. He was found Jan. 27, 2020, in Wyandotte County, Kan.

If convicted, he could face up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Huschka is prosecuting.

Stephen M. Nelson, 31, Kansas City, Kan., is charged in a superseding indictment with two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon. The crimes are alleged to have occurred in February and July 2019 in Wyandotte County, Kan.

If convicted, he could face up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on each count. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Trent Krug is prosecuting.

Monta Simmons, 31, Leavenworth, Kan., is charged with escaping from federal custody at the Grossman Center on Brewer Place in Leavenworth, Kan. The crime is alleged to have occurred Nov. 20, 2019.

If convicted, he could face up to five years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. The U.S. Marshals Service investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Rask is prosecuting.

In all cases, defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The indictments merely contain allegations of criminal conduct.