doj.gif

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



FEBRUARY 26, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


SPRINGFIELD MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO

TWO FEDERAL INDICTMENTS


            SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Bradley J. Schlozman, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Springfield, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to participating in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Greene County, Mo., as well as additional drug-trafficking and illegal firearms charges contained in a second federal indictment.


            Michael D. Caudle, 34, of Springfield, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard E. Dorr this morning to the charges contained in two separate federal indictments.


            By pleading guilty today, Caudle admitted to participating in a conspiracy to distribute in excess of 50 grams of methamphetamine in Greene County from January 2002 to August 2005. Caudle distributed methamphetamine on several occasions to an undercover officer during the course of the conspiracy. Caudle was also stopped in a vehicle with co-conspirator Jeremie S. Palan, 36, of Springfield, from which law enforcement officers seized distributable amounts of methamphetamine and proceeds from the sale of controlled substances. On March 3, 2005, officers lawfully seized $3,670.00, which was derived from the sale of methamphetamine, from Caudle and Palan.


            Caudle was a fugitive from justice under the Sept. 22, 2005, federal indictment when he was located at an apartment in Branson, Mo., on July 13, 2006. After jumping from the second story balcony and attempting to flee officers by swimming across Table Rock Lake, Caudle was arrested and a bag containing methamphetamine and a Tanfoglio 9 mm semi-automatic pistol was seized. Law enforcement officers also seized $16,019 and a 1997 Pontiac Trans Am, all of which was derived from proceeds obtained from the sale of methamphetamine.


            By pleading guilty today to both of the charges contained in a subsequent Oct. 26, 2006, federal indictment, Caudle admitted that he was in possession with the intent to distribute in excess of 50 grams of methamphetamine. Caudle also admitted that he was a felon in possession of a firearm.


            Under federal statutes, Caudle could be subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in federal prison without parole, up to life in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $12, 250,000. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.


            Caudle is the sixth co-defendant to plead guilty to participating in the methamphetamine conspiracy. Four co-conspirators have been sentenced, and one awaits sentencing.


            * Palan was sentenced on July 7, 2006, to seven years and three months in federal prison without parole. On April 19, 2006, Palan pleaded guilty to his role in the methamphetamine conspiracy. Palan admitted that, on one occasion, he sold methamphetamine to an undercover officer. On another occasion, Palan was stopped in a vehicle while in possession of distributable amounts of methamphetamine and $3,600 derived from the sale of methamphetamine. The amount of methamphetamine attributable to Palan is more than 350 grams.


            * Brandi Sue Clark, 44, of Springfield, was sentenced on July 6, to 10 years in federal prison without parole. On April 5, 2006, Clark pleaded guilty to her role in the methamphetamine conspiracy. Clark admitted that on at least three occasions she delivered methamphetamine to an undercover officer. The amount of methamphetamine attributable to Clark is at least 350 grams but less than 500 grams.


            * Drew N. Turner, 28, of Springfield, were sentenced on July 6, 2006, to eight years and one month in federal prison without parole. On April 10, 2006, Turner pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy and to being in possession of a Hi-Point .45-caliber pistol while using and addicted to methamphetamine. Turner admitted that he sold methamphetamine to an undercover officer on four occasions. At one transaction, Turner sold a pistol to an undercover officer in exchange for marijuana.


            * Marsha R. Erickson, 43, of Springfield, was sentenced on Nov. 2, 2006, to four years and six months in federal prison without parole. Erickson pleaded guilty on April 11, 2006, to her role in the conspiracy. Erickson admitted that she delivered methamphetamine to an undercover officer on four occasions. The amount of methamphetamine attributable to Erickson is at least 350 grams but less than 500 grams.


            * Dustin L. Garges, 30, of Springfield, pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy on Oct. 24, 2006. Garges admitted that he distributed methamphetamine to an undercover officer on two occasions. The amount of methamphetamine attributable to this defendant is more than 350 grams. A sentencing hearing for Garges is scheduled for March 30, 2007.


            This case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly Weber Dean. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Springfield, Mo., Police Department, COMET (the Combined Ozarks Multi-jurisdictional Enforcement Team) and the Greene County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department.


****************

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