KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kansas City, Mo., man – charged in state court for his role in the murder of a 3-year-old boy killed in a drive-by shooting – was sentenced in federal court today for illegally possessing a firearm.
Sulif I. Wilkins, 26, of Kansas City, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Howard F. Sachs to 10 years in federal prison without parole, the maximum statutory penalty for the offense.
On June 28, 2016, Wilkins pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. By pleading guilty, Wilkins admitted that he was in possession of a Taurus .40-caliber handgun on June 17, 2015.
According to court documents, Wilkins was identified during an investigation into the death of a 3-year-old boy who was murdered in his bed in a drive-by shooting on May 31, 2015. (Wilkins is charged in state court with murder, unlawful use of a weapon and armed criminal action related to that crime.) Kansas City police officers went to an apartment complex to execute a pick-up order on Wilkins on June 17, 2015. At the apartment complex, Wilkins was seen walking to a blue Chevrolet Cavalier. As officers approached him, Wilkins pulled the gun from his waistband, threw it in the car, and ran towards the apartments. Wilkins was taken into custody and the Taurus handgun was recovered.
According to court documents, the firearm had been stolen. Wilkins previously used the same firearm to shoot at the mother of his child due to a minor argument over a cellphone. After Wilkins shot at the woman, he threatened her life and the lives of her mother and siblings if she ever went to the police.
Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Wilkins has prior felony convictions for robbery, resisting arrest and assault.
In November 2006, Wilkins robbed and carjacked someone at gunpoint then fled from police. While on probation for that crime, in May 2008 Wilkins fired numerous shots into an automobile occupied by two individuals at a BP gas station. Some of the bullets hit an occupied postal truck. In May 2013, according to court documents, Wilkins got into an argument with the woman he was dating and threatened her, destroyed her property, pulled her hair and smacked her repeatedly in the face. Four days later, according to court documents, Wilkins got into another argument with individuals standing outside of a residence and attempted to kill the individuals by firing numerous shots at them as they stood on the porch of the residence. In May 2015, Wilkins got into a heated argument with his girlfriend, took a knife and slashed the tires on her car. One day after that incident, according to court documents, a 3-year-old boy was murdered in his bed, due in part to Wilkins’s actions.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Q. McCarther. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.