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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 26, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


AVA WOMAN SENTENCED FOR METHAMPHETAMINE,

ILLEGAL FIREARMS


            SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that an Ava, Mo., woman has been sentenced in federal court for illegally possessing methamphetamine and firearms.


             Debra James, also known as Debra Wolfe, 47, of Ava, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Ortrie D. Smith on Wednesday, April 25, 2007, to eight years and 10 months in federal prison without parole.


             On Dec. 12, 2006, James pleaded guilty to the charges contained in a Nov. 17, 2004, superseding indictment. James admitted that she aided and abetted another person to possess with intent to distribute approximately 30 grams of methamphetamine on Oct. 8, 2004, in Douglas County, Mo. James also admitted that she participated in a conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine from as early as July 8, 2004, to Oct. 8, 2004, in Douglas County and Bates County, Mo., and that she possessed with intent to distribute marijuana on Aug. 1, 2003, in Wright County, Mo.


             James also pleaded guilty to illegally possessing several firearms. James admitted that, while addicted to and a user of methamphetamine, she was in possession of two handguns, two rifles and a shotgun on Oct. 8, 2004. James possessed those weapons in connection with her role in the methamphetamine-related offenses. James also admitted that, while addicted to and a user of methamphetamine, she was in possession of a HiPoint .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol on Oct. 8, 2003.


             Co-defendant Rick D. Cantrell, 42, of Mountain Grove, was found guilty on April 10, 2007, of three charges contained in the 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.


             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.


            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, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Mountain Grove, Mo., Police Department, 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