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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 11, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


TWO CO-DEFENDANTS SENTENCED 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 and a Pleasant Hope, Mo., man were sentenced in federal court today for participating in a conspiracy to distribute thousands of pounds of marijuana in Greene and Webster counties.


             Danny Osborne, 39, of Springfield, and Mark A. Nelson, 26, of Pleasant Hope, were sentenced in separate appearances this morning before U.S. District Judge Richard E. Dorr. Osborne was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison without parole. Nelson was sentenced to four years and nine months in federal prison without parole.


             On July 3, 2007, a jury convicted Osborne 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.


             On June 22, 2007, Nelson pleaded guilty to his role in that conspiracy.


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


            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