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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


JOHN F. WOOD



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



APRIL 11, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


JURY CONVICTS MOUNTAIN GROVE MAN FOR

METH, ILLEGAL FIREARMS


            SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Mountain Grove, Mo., man has been convicted by a federal jury for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and illegally possessing several firearms.


             Rick D. Cantrell, 42, of Mountain Grove, was found guilty on Tuesday, April 10, 2007, of three charges contained in a Nov. 17, 2004, federal indictment. A jury convicted Cantrell of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine in Douglas County, Mo., on Oct. 8, 2004, and of conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine in Douglas County and Bates County, Mo., from July 8 to Oct. 8, 2004. The jury also convicted Cantrell of being a felon and an unlawful user of methamphetamine while in possession of firearms.


             Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony or who is an unlawful user of a controlled substance to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Cantrell has criminal felony convictions for unlawful use of a weapon, burglary, stealing, passing a bad check and criminal non-support, all in Wright County, Mo.,and for failure to return rental property in Cape Girardeau, Mo. Cantrell was in possession of a Hi-Standard .22-caliber pistol, an Iver Johnson’s Arms .22-caliber revolver, a Marlin .22-caliber rifle, a double-barreled 16-gauge shotgun and a Hi-Standard .22-caliber rifle on Oct. 8, 2004.


            Following the presentation of evidence, the jury in U.S. District Court in Springfield deliberated about three hours before returning the guilty verdicts to U.S. District Judge Richard E. Dorr, ending a trial that began Monday, April 9, 2007.


             Co-defendant Debra James, 47, of Ava, Mo., pleaded guilty on Dec. 12, 2006, to the charges contained in the federal indictment. James admitted that she possessed with intent to distribute 30 grams of methamphetamine on Oct. 8, 2004; that she participated in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Douglas and Bates counties from July 8 to Oct. 8, 2004; that she was in possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime on Oct. 8, 2004; that she was an unlawful user of methamphetamine while in possession of firearms; and that she was in possession with intent to distribute to marijuana in Wright County on Aug 1, 2003.


            Under federal statutes, Cantrell could be subject to a sentence of up to 60 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $2,250,000. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.


            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard E. Monroe. It was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Douglas County, Mo., 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