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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


SEPTEMBER 5, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


OPERATION HEADHUNTER


GRAND JURY INDICTS 15 JOPLIN, CARL JUNCTION RESIDENTS

IN COCAINE, MARIJUANA CONSPIRACY


            SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a federal grand jury has indicted 15 residents of Joplin, Mo., and Carl Junction, Mo., for participating in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana.


             The federal indictment results from Operation Headhunter, a multi-agency investigation into the distribution of large quantities of cocaine and marijuana in southwest Missouri.


             Domonic Dewight Johnson, 33, Jeffrey Dean Snider, 41, Howard Nunnelly, 32, Joseph John Ristau, 52, Jason J. Fields, 24, Scott K. Morrison, 46, John Hergenrother, 26, Patrick Robbins, 24, Jacob W. Musser, 21, Stefan Gilmore, 23, James L. Eaton, 32, and Blake DeCarlo, 22, all of Joplin, Mo., and Kenneth L. Endicott, 25, Jacob A. McGinnis, 22, and Joshua A. McGinnis, 26, all of Carl Junction, Mo., were charged in a 41-count indictment returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Springfield on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2007. That indictment was unsealed and made public today upon the arrests and initial court appearances of several defendants.


             The federal indictment alleges that each of the defendants participated in a conspiracy to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine and more than 50 kilograms of marijuana from Nov. 8, 2004, to April 3, 2007, in Jasper County, Mo., and elsewhere.


             In addition to the drug-trafficking conspiracy, the federal indictment charges Johnson with one count of distributing cocaine, four counts of using a telephone to facilitate drug trafficking, and one count of possession with the intent to distribute marijuana.


             Endicott is also charged with 10 counts of distributing cocaine, one count of possession with the intent to distribute cocaine and marijuana, one count of distributing marijuana, five counts of using a telephone to facilitate drug trafficking, and one count of possessing firearms – two .45-caliber pistols – in furtherance of drug-trafficking crimes. The indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation, which would require Endicott to forfeit to the government any property derived from the proceeds of those offenses, including $5,436 that was seized by law enforcement officers.


             Snider is also charged with six counts of distributing cocaine, one count of using a telephone to facilitate drug trafficking, and one count of possession with the intent to distribute cocaine and marijuana.


             Nunnelly is also charged with one count of possession with the intent to distribute cocaine and two counts of using a telephone to facilitate drug trafficking.


             Morrison is also charged with one count of possession with the intent to distribute cocaine and two counts of using a telephone to facilitate drug trafficking.


             Hergenrother is also charged with one count of possession with the intent to distribute cocaine and marijuana and one count of using a telephone to facilitate drug trafficking.


             Additionally, Fields, Joshua McGinnis, Robbins and Musser are each charged with two counts of using a telephone to facilitate drug trafficking.


             Additionally, Jacob McGinnis, Ristau, Gilmore, Eaton and DeCarlo are each charged with one count of using a telephone to facilitate drug trafficking.


            Wood cautioned that the charges contained in the indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.


            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robyn L. McKee. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Jasper County Drug Task Force, the Joplin, Mo., Police Department, the Jasper County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Carl Junction, Mo., Police Department and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

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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