Jury Convicts KC Man in a $1 million, multi-state cell phone burglary scheme

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PHOTOGRAPH BY DAVID PAUL MORRIS — BLOOMBERG VIA GETTY IMAGES

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – (DOJ) – A Kansas City, Missouri, man has been convicted in federal court for his role in a $1 million conspiracy to steal more than 1,400 cell phones in dozens of commercial burglaries across several states, as well as for obstruction of justice.

Bryan C. Kirkendoll II, also known as “B Boy” and “Blockboy,” 31, was found guilty on Wednesday, May 5, of one count of participating in a conspiracy, three counts of transporting stolen property across state lines, two counts of witness tampering, and one count of transmitting threats in interstate commerce.

Co-defendant Viktor Chernetskiy, 31, of Kansas City, Mo., a naturalized citizen from Ukraine, pleaded guilty on June 17, 2020, to his role in the conspiracy and to one count of transporting stolen property across state lines. Chernetskiy is scheduled to be sentenced on June 3, 2021.

Kirkendoll and Chernetskiy participated in a conspiracy to steal electronic devices – primarily cell phones – from stores in Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, and Oklahoma, then transport them across state lines in order to sell them. Kirkendoll and Chernetskiy committed 48 burglaries from Nov. 21, 2018, to June 14, 2019, in which they stole approximately 1,401 electronic devices (primarily cell phones) with a total financial loss of approximately $1,008,742.

In each instance, the stores were burglarized after hours; Kirkendoll and Chernetskiy wore hooded sweatshirts, caps, and gloves to conceal their identity and limit the trace evidence left behind during the burglaries. They pried the doors open with a large screwdriver or crowbar; in many instances, they broke the glass windows out of the doors, and then went through the opening. Once inside, they looked for phones that were not secured within a safe or other secure location, and loaded those phones into a plastic bin, trash bag, or other bag. In some instances, they also cut retractable security cables from store demonstration phones and took those as well. There was at least one instance where it appeared that they tried (unsuccessfully) to pry open a safe.

While he was on bond, Kirkendoll used intimidation and threats toward a victim-witness in this case to interfere with his pending criminal trial. In February 2020, Kirkendoll posted threatening messages on Facebook directed at the victim-witness, including, “U on borrowed time … Rats get Klapped snitch. (sic)” Kirkendoll also harassed the victim-witness from Feb. 13-19, 2020, in an attempt to dissuade that person from testifying at his trial.

Kirkendoll’s bond was revoked, and he was arrested in February 2020 for his threats toward the victim-witness. Kirkendoll remains in federal custody.

Following the presentation of evidence, the jury in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo., deliberated for almost three hours before returning the guilty verdict on Wednesday, May 5, to U.S. Chief District Judge Beth Phillips, ending a trial that began Monday, May 3.

Under federal statutes, Kirkendoll is subject to a sentence of up to five years in federal prison without parole on the conspiracy count, up to 10 years in federal prison without parole on each of the three counts of transporting stolen property across state lines, up to 23 years in federal prison without parole for both counts of witness tampering, and up to five years in federal prison without parole for transmitting threats. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

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