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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


BRADLEY J. SCHLOZMAN



Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html



MARCH 30, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


OPERATION ICE STORM

JOPLIN, OKLAHOMA MEN SENTENCED FOR

METH CONSPIRACY, ILLEGAL FIREARMS


            SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Bradley J. Schlozman, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that three Joplin, Mo., men and a Quapaw, Okla., man have been sentenced in federal court for participating in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and illegally possessing firearms.


             This case is among a series of indictments charging dozens of defendants as a result of Operation Ice Storm, which focused on the distribution of multi-kilogram amounts of ice (a high-quality and potent derivative of methamphetamine) from California to southwest Missouri and Texas.


             Adrian Canales, 28, Travis C. Phillips, 21, and Rustin D. Pangburn, 27, all of Joplin, and Johnny W. Swanner, 40, of Quapaw, were sentenced in separate hearings before U.S. District Judge Gary A. Fenner on Thursday, March 29, 2007. Canales was sentenced to 16 years and three months in federal prison without parole. Phillips was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison without parole. Pangburn was sentenced to five years in federal prison without parole. Swanner was sentenced to two years in federal prison without parole.


             On Sept. 21, 2006, Canales and Phillips pleaded guilty to their roles in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Jasper County and elsewhere from as early as October 2002 to Dec. 28, 2005. Canales admitted that he obtained quantities of methamphetamine which he in turn would distribute to Phillips and Pangborn. Phillips admitted that he obtained quantities of methamphetamine from Canales and Pangburn which he in turn would distribute. The amount of methamphetamine attributable to both Canales and Phillips is more than 1.5 kilograms but less than 5 kilograms.


             Canales and Phillips also pleaded guilty to possessing firearms in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime. Canales admitted that he was in possession of a Hi Standard .22-caliber revolver during the methamphetamine conspiracy. Phillips admitted that he was in possession of a Glock 9 mm pistol during the methamphetamine conspiracy.


             On Sept. 19, 2006, Pangburn and Swanner pleaded guilty to their roles in the methamphetamine conspiracy. Pangburn admitted that he obtained quantities of methamphetamine from Canales, which he in turn would distribute to multiple subjects, including Phillips and Pangborn. Swanner admitted that he received quantifies of methamphetamine from Pangburn for distribution. Swanner distributed methamphetamine to multiple subjects in Missouri and Oklahoma. The amount of methamphetamine attributable to both Pangburn and Swanner is more than 1.5 kilograms but less than 5 kilograms.


            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David P. Rush. It was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, IRS-Criminal Investigation, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Jasper County Drug Task Force, the Joplin, Mo., Police Department, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, and the Cherokee County, Kan., Sheriff’s Department.


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This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html