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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


JULY 5, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


JURY CONVICTS THREE SPRINGFIELD MEN IN

LARGE-SCALE MARIJUANA CONSPIRACY


            SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that three Springfield, Mo., men were convicted by a federal jury on Tuesday, July 3, 2007, for participating in a conspiracy to distribute thousands of pounds of marijuana in Greene and Webster counties.


             Damien M. Foxx, 28, Danny Osborne, 39, and Willie Foxx, 24, all of Springfield, were found guilty of 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.


             “This criminal conspiracy involved a large-scale marijuana distribution ring,” Wood said. “Local drug dealers purchased more than a ton of marijuana from a source in California, which was then distributed in the Springfield area.”


            Following the presentation of evidence, the jury in U.S. District Court in Springfield deliberated 7 hours before returning the guilty verdict to U.S. District Judge Richard E. Dorr, ending a trial that began Monday, June 25, 2007.


            In addition to the marijuana distribution conspiracy, Damien Foxx was also convicted of participating in a related money-laundering conspiracy. The indictment alleges that the money laundering took place between as early as Oct. 16, 2003, and Feb. 8, 2005, in Greene and Webster counties.


            Damien Foxx and co-defendant Billy J. Berringer, 27, of Springfield, obtained marijuana and redistributed it to others. After selling the marijuana, the co-conspirators reinvested the money into the conspiracy in order to pay their supplier and to obtain more marijuana. Specifically, on Jan. 18, 2005, Berringer and Foxx conducted a wire transfer of $1,500 from Webster County, which involved the proceeds of the conspiracy to distribute marijuana and thus constituted a financial transaction with the intent to promote the carrying on of the marijuana conspiracy.

 

            Damien Foxx laundered money again when he transferred $5,000 from Greene County on Jan. 12, 2005, that involved the proceeds of the conspiracy to distribute marijuana. The money used in this wire transfer was derived from the marijuana conspiracy and used to pay for property located at 418 E. Evergreen, in Springfield. The property was used as a stash house and a marijuana distribution center.


            The jury also found Damien Foxx and Willie Foxx guilty of a forfeiture count, which requires them to forfeit to the United States all property derived from the conspiracy to distribute marijuana. The forfeiture includes $50,355 seized from Damien Foxx on Jan. 30, 2005, $9,000 obtained from a Springfield dealership on Feb. 3, 2005, which Damien Foxx paid for the purchase of an automobile; $19,441.97 seized on Jan. 31, 2005, from a Commerce Bank account in Damien Foxx’s name; a silver ring with numerous diamonds and a men’s wristwatch with diamonds seized from Damien Foxx on Jan. 30, 2005; a 2002 Cadillac Escalade seized from Damien Foxx on Jan. 30, 2005; a 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder seized from Damien Foxx on Jan. 30, 2005; a 2001 Chevrolet Tahoe seized from Willie Foxx on Jan. 30, 2005; and $445 seized from Willie Foxx on Jan. 30, 2005.


            Under federal statutes, Damien Foxx, Danny Osborne and Willie Foxx could be subject to a sentence of up to life in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $4,000,000.00. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.


             Damien Foxx, Danny Osborne and Willie Foxx are among 24 co-defendants who were charged in a Nov. 2, 2005, superseding indictment and have been convicted. Three of those co-defendants have been sentenced.


             * George Dye, 24, 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, 24, 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, 28, 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.


             Among those who have pleaded guilty and await sentencing are Landon C. Roper, 22, Benjamin D. Christian, 29, Billy J. Berringer, 27, Travis Hodge, 24, Darius L. Ellis, 28, Joshua L. Parrow, 28, Norman L. Schafer, 50, David E. Foxx, 30, Devin J. Green, 27, Lameeka C. Jeffries, 24, Curtis Scott Cruise, 28, and David Lee Harris, 38, all of Springfield, Crystal L. Fox, 33, Donna S. Berringer, 29, and Michael E. Spear, 25, all of Marshfield, Mo., Jeremiah Lucas Louthan, 28, of West Plains, Mo., James M. Allen, 31, of Pierce City, 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