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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 7, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


OPERATION GHOSTBUSTERS


ROLLA MAN SENTENCED FOR MARIJUANA TRAFFICKING


            JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Rolla, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for participating in a conspiracy to distribute hundreds of pounds of marijuana in Cole County, Mo.


             Cyrus Otis Pope, 26, of Rolla, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Nanette K. Laughrey this morning to seven years and three months in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Pope to pay a fine of $12,500.


            On Aug. 10, 2007, Pope pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to distribute and to possess with the intent to distribute 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana from as early as 1998 until July 2005.


             Pope is among 20 co-defendants who have been convicted, either at trial or by guilty plea, of charges contained in a March 5, 2007, superseding indictment.


             Co-defendant David Edward Latham, 32, of Jefferson City, was sentenced on Nov. 30, 2007, after pleading guilty to his role in the conspiracy to distribute marijuana. Latham was sentenced to five years in federal prison without parole.


             Co-defendant Mark Allen Cavin, 31, of Jefferson City, was sentenced on Nov. 28, 2007, after pleading guilty to his role in the conspiracy to distribute marijuana. Cavin was sentenced to three years in federal prison without parole.


             Co-defendant Roy Lee Loethen, 47, of Holts Summit, Mo., was sentenced this morning to two years of probation. Loethen pleaded guilty to possessing marijuana.


             Co-defendants Rodney Keith Rodebaugh, 30, and Douglas E. Comstock, 46, both of Jefferson City, and Eugene Rodney Rodebaugh, 56, of Eldon, Mo., were each found guilty on Aug. 27, 2007, for their roles in the marijuana conspiracy as well as other charges contained in the 54-count federal indictment. Co-defendant Frederick William Weddington, 47, of Jefferson City, was found guilty of one count of using a telephone to facilitate drug trafficking. Co-defendant Bruce Allen Johnson, 29, of Jefferson City, was found guilty of one count of using a telephone to facilitate the distribution and possession with intent to distribute marijuana.


            Three co-defendants have pleaded guilty to their role in the conspiracy to distribute marijuana, including Shawn D. Reno, 33, of New Bloomfield, Mo., Olan Daniel George, 32, of Centertown, Mo., and Craig Alan Wansing, 32, of Vienna, Mo. Additionally, Juan F. Aguilar, 33, of Kansas City, Mo., pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to distribute marijuana and cocaine.


            Co-defendants Leonard Marshall Roark, 47, of Lohman, Mo., and Jon Lee Burke, 54, of Vienna, each pleaded guilty to using a telephone to facilitate the crimes of distribution and possession with the intent to distribute marijuana. Co-defendant Arnold Wayne Juergens, 46, of Dixon, Mo., pleaded guilty to possessing marijuana.


            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Lynn and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Lauren Kummerer. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Jefferson City, Mo., Police Department, MUSTANG (the Mid-Missouri Unified Strike Team and Narcotics Group), IRS-Criminal Investigation and the DEA Task Force in Kansas City, Mo.

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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