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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


AUGUST 7, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


SPRINGFIELD MAN SENTENCED FOR MARIJUANA CONSPIRACY


            SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Springfield, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for marijuana conspiracy.


             Curtis Scott Cruise, 28, of Springfield, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Richard E. Dorr this morning to five years in federal prison without parole for participating in a conspiracy to distribute thousands of pounds of marijuana in Greene and Webster counties.


             On April 13, 2007, Cruise pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana from Oct. 16, 2003, to Feb. 8, 2005, in Greene and Webster counties.


            Cruise is among 24 co-defendants who were charged in a Nov. 2, 2005, superseding indictment. Eight of those co-defendants have also been sentenced.


             * George Dye, 25, of Springfield, was sentenced on Nov. 8, 2006, to 12 years and seven months in federal prison without parole. On July 26, 2006, Dye pleaded guilty to his role in the marijuana conspiracy. Dye admitted that he stored marijuana at his residence during the conspiracy, and assisted in the distribution of marijuana to other members of the conspiracy who came to the residence. Dye also admitted that he was in possession of a Taurus 9 mm handgun with ammunition, and a Ruger Mark II rifle with a scope during the course of, and in connection to, the conspiracy. During the course of the conspiracy, Dye admitted, the most reasonably forseeable amount of marijuana distributed by the conspiracy was at least 1,000 kilograms but less than 3,000 kilograms.


             * Ryan S. Dill, 25, of Springfield, was sentenced on Nov. 3, 2006, to 11 years and three months in federal prison without parole. On July 14, 2006, Dill pleaded guilty to his role in the marijuana conspiracy. Dill admitted that he received large amounts of marijuana to distribute in the Springfield area – on one occasion, Dill received 11 kilograms of marijuana for redistribution, which was eventually seized by the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Dill also pleaded guilty to participating in a money-laundering conspiracy. Dill admitted that he reinvested the cash proceeds from his sale of marijuana into the conspiracy in order to obtain more marijuana. Dill agreed to forfeit to the government residential property in Springfield as well as $22,802 that was placed in escrow following the sale of property in Pleasant Hope, Mo.; both properties were purchased with the proceeds of the marijuana conspiracy.


             * Julio Lopez, 29, of Tulare, Calif., was sentenced on Aug. 4, 2006, to 10 years in federal prison without parole. On April 19, 2006, Lopez pleaded guilty to his role in the marijuana conspiracy. Lopez also admitted that he distributed approximately 575 grams of methamphetamine to individuals in southwest Missouri.


             * Michael E. Spear, 25, of Marshfield, Mo, was sentenced on July 27, 2007, to five years in federal prison without parole. On June 16, 2006, Spear pleaded guilty to his role in the marijuana conspiracy.


             * Devin J. Green, 27, of Marshfield, was sentenced on July 27, 2007, to 13 months in federal prison without parole. On April 12, 2007, Green pleaded guilty to his role in the marijuana conspiracy.


             * Landon C. Roper, 22, of Springfield, was sentenced on Aug. 2, 2007, to four years in federal prison without parole. On September 14, 2006, Roper pleaded guilty to his role in the marijuana conspiracy.


             * James M. Allen, 31, of Pierce City, Mo., was sentenced on Aug. 3, 2007, to two years and 11 months in federal prison without parole. On September 15, 2006, Allen pleaded guilty to his role in the marijuana conspiracy.

 

             * Jeremiah Lucas Louthan, 28, of West Plains, Mo., was sentenced on Aug. 3, 2007, to two years and 11 months in federal prison without parole. On August 8, 2006, Louthan pleaded guilty to his role in the marijuana conspiracy.

 

             Among those who have been found guilty and await sentencing are Damien M. Foxx, 29, Danny Osborne, 39, Willie Foxx, 24, Benjamin D. Christian, 30, Billy J. Berringer, 28, Travis Hodge, 24, Darius L. Ellis, 28, Joshua L. Parrow, 28, Norman L. Schafer, 50, David E. Foxx, 30, Lameeka C. Jeffries, 24, and David Lee Harris, 38, all of Springfield, Crystal L. Fox, 33, and, Donna S. Berringer, 29, both of Marshfield, Mo., and Mark A. Nelson, 26, of Pleasant Hope, Mo.


            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall D. Eggert. The case was investigated by IRS – Criminal Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, COMET (the Combined Ozarks Multi-jurisdictional Enforcement Team), the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Greene County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Webster County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, and the Springfield, Mo., Police 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