4 years after drive-by shooting by Kansas City daycare, gang leaders, rappers sentenced

Members of a Kansas City street gang, including two local rappers, were sentenced to decades in federal prison this week for drug trafficking and gun crimes, including a daytime drive-by shooting outside a daycare, court records show.

On Monday, Ladele D. Smith, 36, was sentenced to 35 years in prison and Roy Franklin Jr., 33, was sentenced to 30 years. Neither have the option of parole.

Federal prosecutors said both men were leaders of 264, which they described as a violent street gang, court records show.

The two men stood trial in September 2022 and were found guilty of “participating in a conspiracy to distribute heroin, cocaine, oxycodone, and marijuana from Jan. 1, 2011, to Oct. 1, 2019,” according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Missouri. They were convicted on several counts each.

Smith, who also went by “Dellio” and “Dog,” was also convicted of 15 additional counts, including drug-trafficking and shootings. Franklin had nine additional charges also involving drugs and guns.

David “Deej” or “DJ” Duncan, IV, 34, and Gary O. Toombs, 43, were also found guilty of related crimes at trial. Their sentencing is scheduled for late September.

In total, 14 additional co-defendants in this case also pleaded guilty and were sentenced.

The 246 gang

Authorities started investigating the 246 gang, which they describe as an alliance of gang members from the 24th, 43rd and 68th streets in Kansas City, in June 2017.

The U.S. attorney’s office said both Smith and Duncan are local rap musicians who’ve referenced the 246 gang on their social media. Some of their videos show Smith clad in expensive jewelry, holding guns and large wads of cash, according to court records.

Investigators found that while Smith only made $300 from his music, he spent $54,000 at Halls Department Store from 2017 to 2019, and spent at least $27,000 in rental cars during the same time, court records show.

Federal prosecutors said the gang members used a house in the 4400 block of Kensington Avenue to conduct business, including illegal drug sales, though none of them lived there permanently. The house is fewer than 1,000 feet from George Washington Carver Dual Language School, an elementary school.

In September 2019, some of the men were also involved in a drive-by shooting outside a daycare while children were present, federal prosecutors said.

The following month, police executed a search warrant at the house on Kensington where they seized heroin, two assault rifles, three pistols and a stolen vehicle that had been used in the drive-by.

The same day, they also arrested Smith at his apartment and seized codeine, more than $31,000 in cash and more than $40,000 in jewelry, court records show. At Duncan’s apartment, police seized two rifles, a pistol, loaded magazines, more than $7,000 in cash and four bags of oxycodone pills.