News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 02, 2009
Contact: Thomas E. Murphy
Number: (314)538-4660

Six Defendants Plead Guilty to Meth-Related Charges Stolen Pseudoephedrine Used to Manufacture Over $1 Million Worth of Meth

DEC 02 -- ( KANSAS CITY, Mo.) – Matt J. Whitworth, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that six defendants have pleaded guilty to charges related to manufacturing and distributing methamphetamine following the theft of a 50-kilogram (110 pounds) drum of pharmaceutical pseudoephedrine powder in an armed robbery at the Sanofi-Aventis U.S., LLC pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Kansas City, Mo. The pseudoephedrine was used to manufacture more than $1 million worth of methamphetamine.

Shawn Anthony Clinkenbeard , 38, and John Robert Christian , 25, both of Peculiar, Mo., and Clair John Easterbrook, Jr. , also known as “Homie,” 46, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple today to the charges contained in a May 19, 2009, federal indictment. David Douglas Margita, 29, of Kansas City, Mo., and Jimmy Wayne O’Neal , 36, and Robert William Webb , also known as “Butch,” 62, both of Kansas City, Kan., pleaded guilty on Monday, Nov. 30, 2009.

By pleading guilty today, Clinkenbeard admitted that he assisted in the armed robbery at Sanofi-Aventis, which was planned to coincide with the beginning of Super Bowl XLI on Feb. 4, 2007. Clinkenbeard used a construction truck that was parked on the business property, which he drove to the dock area, where he and a co-defendant loaded the stolen drum of pseudoephedrine powder onto the truck and left the property. Clinkenbeard provided some of the stolen pseudoephedrine to Easterbrook , who admitted that he used it to manufacture methamphetamine. O’Neal admitted that he also helped to manufacture methamphetamine. Webb admitted that he obtained precursor chemicals needed to manufacture methamphetamine, while Christian and Margita admitted that they assisted with distributing the methamphetamine.

Clinkenbeard , Christian , Easterbrook, O’Neal and Margita pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to manufacture and distribute methamphetamine between June 1, 2006, and May 2, 2009. Clinkenbeard, Christian and Easterbrook also pleaded guilty to participating in aconspiracy to possess pseudoephedrine with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine. Clinkenbeard also pleaded guilty to possessing pseudoephedrine with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine.  Webb pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to possess white phosphorus, knowing that it would be used to manufacture methamphetamine.

Under federal statutes, Clinkenbeard, Christian, Easterbrook, O’Neal and Margita are each subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of life in federal prison without parole. Webb is subject to a sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison without parole. S entencing hearings will be scheduled after the completion of presentence investigations by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bruce Rhoades. It was investigated by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration.