St. Louis County Man is Sentenced to 27 Years in Prison After Previously Pleading Guilty to Making Methamphetamine
MAY 30 -- St. Louis, Missouri: DEA St. Louis Assistant Special Agent in Charge Jack Riley and United States Attorney Catherine L. Hanaway today announced that James Hayes was sentenced this afternoon to 27 years in prison on methamphetamine conspiracy charges.
"Meth can be made from dozens of different recipes, but all the formulas have one thing in common – they require ingredients that are flammable and explosive. Mr. Hayes had no regard for the safety of his children. He continually manufactured and used methamphetamine in and around their home," said Hanaway. "This man deserves to go to prison for 27 years."
"Once again methamphetamine's insidious nature has taken it's toll on the community, a family, and their futures. This investigation illustrates why law enforcement must never waver in it's fight against methamphetamine," Riley added.
HAYES, 28, of the 800 block of Forder Road in St. Louis County, was sentenced to 27 years in prison. He appeared before United States District Judge Charles A. Shaw.
On January 23, 2003, four-week-old Jersie Hayes was found unresponsive at the home Mr. Hayes shared with his girlfriend and children. Jersie Hayes was pronounced dead shortly after emergency medical personnel arrived. Two days later, an associate of Mr. Hayes' gave a written statement to police indicating that he had been manufacturing methamphetamine with Mr. Hayes on the night Jersie Hayes died. A laboratory test conducted on a pillowcase removed from the Hayes residence on January 23, 2003, revealed trace amounts of methamphetamine.
At a March 2006 evidentiary hearing, the government presented the testimony of expert witness Dr. John Martyny of the National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver, Colorado. After his review of this case and based upon his research, Dr. Martyny expressed the opinion that there was "no question" that the manufacture of methamphetamine inside a residence creates a substantial risk of harm to the life of a child who resides there. Dr. Martyny indicated that the presence of trace amounts of methamphetamine on the pillowcase removed from the Hayes residence provided corroboration that methamphetamine had been used or manufactured inside the residence.
United States District Judge Charles A. Shaw made detailed findings in support of Mr. Hayes' sentence. These findings were based in part upon Mr. Hayes' own admissions at the time of his guilty plea. Mr. Hayes admitted that on August 6, 2004, he transported several tanks containing stolen anhydrous ammonia (a hazardous chemical used in the manufacture of methamphetamine) to his residence in Crystal City, Missouri. Shortly Mr. Hayes arrived at his residence, one of the tanks began to leak, emitting anhydrous ammonia into the air. According to a co-defendant, when the anhydrous ammonia began leaking, Mr. Hayes went inside and warned his girlfriend, telling her to take the children and leave the area.
In addition, Mr. Hayes admitted that in February 2005, he and his brother (and co-defendant) Michael Hayes fled from Arnold Police in a vehicle that was later determined to contain approximately 400 grams of pseudoephedrine, which James and Michael Hayes intended to use to manufacture methamphetamine.
The Court found that during the course of the conspiracy, James Glenn Hayes manufactured in excess of 1.5 kilograms of a mixture or substance containing methamphetamine. The Court also imposed a number of sentencing enhancements upon Mr. Hayes, finding that he occupied a position as an organizer or leader of the conspiracy; that he possessed a firearm in connection with the offense; that he recklessly created a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury while fleeing from law enforcement; and that he created a substantial risk of harm to the life of his minor children in the course of manufacturing methamphetamine.
Seven other defendants were charged along with James Glenn Hayes. All seven entered pleas of guilty, and they received sentences ranging from 12 to 125 months in prison.
Requests for additional information should be directed to Group Supervisor Phillip A. Jacobs or Public Information Officer Special Agent Shirley A. Armstead at 314-538-4600.