Kansas City man pleads guilty to trafficking fentanyl and federal crimes with a firearm

Two months after being arrested in connection with a homicide investigation in Westport, Kansas City, a 19-year-old admitted in federal court on Wednesday to trafficking fentanyl and illegally possessing more than a dozen fire arms.

Ban N. To, of Kansas City, pleaded guilty in the Western District of Missouri to possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, carrying firearms to aid in drug trafficking, and possession of a machine gun – all crimes. He was ordered to remain in federal custody until his sentencing hearing.

Prosecutors say the charges stem from an April 15 vehicle stop by Kansas City police. An SUV belonging to To was seen leaving the scene of a shooting in Westport near 40th and Washington streets where a 20-year-old man, Malik Akins, was shot.

According to court records, To has not been charged with any crime related to the fatal shooting.

Surveillance video of the area showed two men exchanging gunfire with Akins before returning to a Toyota Highlander. Court documents filed in Jackson County in late April say surveillance cameras captured license plate footage and a stop order was issued for the SUV.

Prosecutors said a search of To’s vehicle uncovered four firearms, two of which were believed to be stolen, and 75 pills containing fentanyl.

Days later, while To was being held in the Jackson County Jail, prosecutors said he called his girlfriend to ask her to pull bags from a storage locker. Police went to the locker and seized nine more firearms, including two Glock pistols fitted with a conversion switch to make them fully automatic.

Under federal law, To faces a minimum of five years in prison without the possibility of parole. A sentencing hearing had not yet been scheduled for Wednesday.

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