KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Federal prosecutors plan to pursue tougher sentence against five of seven Kansas City men indicted in a drug conspiracy because of their alleged gang involvement.
It's all part of a national effort to target gang members for prosecution in federal court.
Indictments against the seven Kansas City defendants were unsealed and made public Wednesday upon the arrest of several of the men.
U.S. Attorney Beth Phillips said in a news release that the decision to seek the lengthier sentences is a first in the Western District of Missouri. Maximum penalties of various counts could be increased by 10 years because of the effort.
Phillips says her office and other prosecutors and law enforcement agencies are committed to targeting gangs and taking illegal guns, drugs and criminals off the street.