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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


DECEMBER 6, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


SPRINGFIELD MAN SENTENCED TO 17 YEARS IN PRISON

FOR LARGE-SCALE 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 participating in a conspiracy to distribute thousands of pounds of marijuana in Greene and Webster counties.


             Damien M. Foxx, 28, of Springfield, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard E. Dorr this morning to 17 years and six months in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Foxx to forfeit to the United States all property derived from the conspiracy to distribute marijuana. The forfeiture includes $50,355 seized from Foxx on Jan. 30, 2005, $9,000 obtained from a Springfield dealership on Feb. 3, 2005, which Foxx paid for the purchase of an automobile; $19,441.97 seized on Jan. 31, 2005, from a Commerce Bank account in Foxx’s name; a silver ring with numerous diamonds and a men’s wristwatch with diamonds seized from Foxx on Jan. 30, 2005; a 2002 Cadillac Escalade seized from Foxx on Jan. 30, 2005; and a 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder seized from Foxx on Jan. 30, 2005.


             On July 3, 2007, a jury convicted Foxx 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 in which local drug dealers purchased more than a ton of marijuana from a source in California, which was then distributed in the Springfield area.


            Foxx was also found guilty of participating in a related money-laundering conspiracy that took place between Oct. 16, 2003, and Feb. 8, 2005, in Greene and Webster counties. 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. 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.


             Foxx is among 25 co-defendants who were charged in a Nov. 2, 2005, superseding indictment and have been convicted at trial or by pleading guilty. Eighteen of those co-defendants have now been sentenced.


             Berringer was sentenced on Sept. 6, 2007, to nine years and two months in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Berringer to forfeit to the government his property in Marshfield that was used to store the marijuana he obtained from California prior to redistribution.


             Norman L. Schafer, 51, of Springfield, was sentenced on Sept. 5, 2007, to four years and two months in federal prison without parole.


             Benjamin D. Christian, 30, Travis Hodge, 24, and David E. Foxx, 30, all of Springfield, and Donna S. Berringer, 29, of Marshfield, were sentenced on Sept. 6, 2007. Christian and David Foxx were each sentenced to five years in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered David Foxx to forfeit to the government a 2000 Lincoln Navigator that was used to commit the offense. Hodge was sentenced to six years and six months in federal prison without parole. Donna Berringer was sentenced to three years and nine months in federal prison without parole.


             All of these defendants pleaded guilty to their roles in the marijuana conspiracy. Billy Berringer also pleaded guilty to participating in a related money-laundering conspiracy.


             Billy Berringer admitted that he directed co-conspirators – including his sister, Donna Berringer – to travel to California to obtain marijuana from co-defendant Julio Lopez, 29, of Tulare, Calif., then transport it back to Webster County. Donna Berringer admitted that she was paid $2,500 for each of three trips to California in 2004 to obtain marijuana for transportation back to Missouri.


             Billy Berringer and Schafer prepared the marijuana for distribution, then Billy Berringer distributed the marijuana to other co-defendants, including Damien Foxx and David Lee Harris, 39, of Springfield. Law enforcement officers, while executing a search warrant on Schafer’s property, discovered approximately 300 pounds of marijuana that Billy Berringer had recently received from California that he was preparing for redistribution. Billy Berringer admitted that he used the cash proceeds from the sale of marijuana in order to purchase more marijuana.


             Crystal L. Fox, 33, of Marshfield, Mo., was sentenced on Nov. 1, 2007, to two years and 11 months in federal prison without parole. Crystal Fox pleaded guilty on Aug. 1, 2006, to her role in the marijuana conspiracy.


             David Lee Harris, 39, of Springfield, was sentenced on Sept. 25, 2007, to three years and one month in federal prison without parole. Harris pleaded guilty on May 31, 2007, to his role in the marijuana conspiracy.


             Curtis Scott Cruise, 28, of Springfield, was sentenced on Aug. 7, 2007, to five years in federal prison without parole. Cruise pleaded guilty on April 13, 2007, to his role in the marijuana conspiracy.


             George Dye, 26, 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, 28, 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, 23, 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.

 

             Danny Osborne, 39, and Willie Foxx, 25, both of Springfield, were convicted by a federal jury on July 3, 2007, of participating in the marijuana conspiracy and await sentencing. Darius L. Ellis, 28, Joshua L. Parrow, 28, Jason C. Tosch, 25, and Lameeka C. Jeffries, 25, all of Springfield, and Mark A. Nelson, 26, of Pleasant Hope, Mo., have pleaded guilty and await sentencing.


            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