- Associated Press - Friday, February 12, 2016

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Kansas City man convicted of federal drug and weapons charges faces considerable prison time after authorities linked him with several other crimes, including the 2013 deaths of a mother and her 3-year-old child.

Rashawn Long, 35, was sentenced Thursday to 30 years in federal prison without parole for illegally possessing a controlled substance and firearms. Federal sentencing guidelines would have called for him to face about 10 years in prison.

U.S. District Judge Brian C. Wimes cited Long’s criminal history in departing from the guidelines, The Kansas City Star reported (http://bit.ly/1SLRRwJ ).

“This will protect the public from you,” Wimes said. “People will get hurt if you are out on the streets.”

Prosecutors had been seeking a 40-year sentence for Long, who they said was a member of the 51st Street Crips gang and whose criminal history included a “multitude of uncharged criminal conduct.”

Their sentencing memo said evidence showed that “in a relatively short period of time, Defendant has carried out the murders of at least five individuals,” including one Long was convicted of in 2001. Long was released from prison in 2012.

Prosecutors said the year after he was release, Long shot and killed four people: Myeisha J. Turner and her 3-year-old daughter, Damiah L. White; Raymon K. Thomas, and Kevin Jones. Charges have been filed only in Jones’ death.

P.J. O’Connor, Long’s defense attorney, said Long would appeal the conviction and the sentence. He declined additional comment about the sentencing but pointed to his own sentencing memorandum, in which he sought a prison term of no more than about six and a half years.

“As far as other crimes of violence or homicides, the proper venue for charging those crimes is state court not at a federal sentencing hearing,” the memo said.

Jackson County prosecutor’s office spokesman Mike Mansur said it has been working with the federal authorities, and the deaths of Turner and her child remain under investigation.

“If witnesses come forward, and if there’s enough evidence for Kansas City police detectives to submit a case to us, because there’s no statute of limitations on murder,” it would be taken to the prosecutor, he said.

Thomas was killed in neighboring Johnson County, Kansas. A spokeswoman for its district attorney’s office declined comment.

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Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com

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