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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


AUGUST 24, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


TWO BRANSON RESIDENTS SENTENCED

FOR METH CONSPIRACY


            SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that two Branson, Mo., residents were sentenced in federal court today for participating in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.


             David L. Sands, 47, Brenda Lee Tarter, 35, both of Branson, were sentenced in separate hearings this morning before U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple. Sands was sentenced to six years and six months in federal prison without parole. Tarter was sentenced to five years in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Sands to forfeit to the government $24,223, which was derived from the sale of methamphetamine.


             Sands and Tarter pleaded guilty in December 2006 to participating in a conspiracy to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine. Sands admitted that he obtained supplies of methamphetamine, which he redistributed to Tarter, as well as co-defendant Chris Ken Brown, 45, of Branson, and others in the southwest Missouri area from July 7, 2005, to Jan. 9, 2006. Tarter admitted that she also participated in the methamphetamine conspiracy by receiving supplies of methamphetamine that she redistributed to others in the southwest Missouri area.


             Co-defendant Samuel Jerry Counts, 35, was sentenced on Nov. 27, 2006, to 10 years in federal prison without parole after pleading guilty to his role in the methamphetamine conspiracy. Brown pleaded guilty on Dec. 26, 2006, and awaits sentencing.


            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robyn L. McKee. It was investigated by COMET (the Combined Ozarks Multi-jurisdictional Enforcement Team), the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

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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