Rapper from Springfield pleads guilty to possession of illegal firearms

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A Springfield, Mo., man, formerly a member of a local rap group, has pleaded guilty in federal court to the illegal possession of firearms.

Ezekiel Josiah King, 20, admitted his guilt before U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge David P. Rush. King was charged with one count of being an unlawful user of a controlled substance in possession of firearms.

On May 16, 2023, Jardell Carlin Williams, also 20, King’s co-defendant, pleaded guilty to two similar counts.

King’s guilty plea acknowledged his possession of a loaded Glock .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol, equipped with an extended magazine holding 29 rounds, and an Anderson AM-15 multi-caliber rifle loaded with 31 rounds of .223-caliber ammunition. These firearms were discovered on Feb. 15, 2022, when King, driving a gold Nissan Altima, was stopped by Springfield police detectives. Additionally, under the driver’s seat, detectives found another extended magazine and two factory Glock magazines.

Williams, who was a passenger in King’s vehicle, confessed to possessing a Glock .40-caliber semi-automatic pistol. Detectives also found two additional boxes of ammunition in the front floorboard.

Furthermore, Williams admitted to possessing a C3 Defense 5.56-caliber semi-automatic pistol during an Oct. 22, 2022, traffic stop. This C3 Defense AR-style pistol was linked to three shooting incidents in Kansas City, Mo., and Kansas City, Kansas.

Both King and Williams conceded to regular marijuana use.

Under federal law, King faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison without parole, while Williams could face up to 25 years. These maximum sentences are set by Congress and are provided for informational purposes. Actual sentences will be determined by the court, considering advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.

Williams’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for Feb. 5, 2024. King’s sentencing will be set following a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie L. Wan is prosecuting this case, with investigations led by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Greene County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, and the Springfield, Mo., Police Department.


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