OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
MATT J. WHITWORTH
Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106
OCTOBER 21, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CLEVER MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO LARGE-SCALE
METH, MONEY LAUNDERING CONSPIRACIES
FACES AT LEAST 20 YEARS IN PRISON,
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Matt J. Whitworth, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Clever, Mo., man has pleaded guilty in federal court to his role in a conspiracy to distribute large amounts of methamphetamine in Greene County, Mo., and Christian County, Mo., as well as to his role in a money-laundering conspiracy.
Jason D. Clark, 39, of Clever, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge James C. England on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2009, to the charges contained in a June 24, 2009, superseding indictment.
Clark pleaded guilty to his role in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Greene and Christian counties from May 2007 to Aug. 22, 2008. Clark also pleaded guilty to his role in a money-laundering conspiracy involving the proceeds of methamphetamine trafficking.
In November 2007, the DEA launched an investigation into a drug distribution network involving Clark and numerous others. Several interviews were conducted with a confidential source, who indicated Clark was receiving large amounts of methamphetamine from a supplier in California.
On Nov. 6, 2007, this source informed DEA agents that Clark was at a motel counting $255,000 to send to his supplier in California. DEA surveillance was able to observe Clark’s vehicle at the motel and the confidential source took photographs of the money laid out on the motel bed. Also in November, Texas law enforcement officers stopped an individual near Amarillo, Texas, with eight pounds of methamphetamine that he said he was delivering to Clark. He also told Texas authorities that he had been delivering methamphetamine to Clark for approximately three years.
Law enforcement agents initiated wire intercepts of Clark’s cell phones and tracked shipments of methamphetamine that Clark received from his supplier in California. During the investigation, Clark received a total of 30 pounds of methamphetamine, some of which was delivered via UPS. Some of the methamphetamine was shipped within hidden compartments of vehicles that were driven from California.
Clark also placed money in the hidden compartments of those vehicles as payment to his supplier. In one incident, Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers stopped a vehicle containing more than $152,000 in its hidden compartments that was being transported to California as payment for methamphetamine. Clark also sent money to his California source via UPS.
After receiving shipments of methamphetamine from California, Clark admitted, he distributed the methamphetamine to various co-conspirators, which they would redistribute. Co-defendants Monica L. McBride, 46, of Clever, and Linda M. Pendergrass, 43, of Springfield, Mo., have pleaded guilty to their roles in the conspiracy. Co-defendant Kelley J. Conklin, 40, of Nixa, Mo., pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the distribution of methamphetamine.
In August 2008, DEA agents intercepted a package that Clark was shipping to California via UPS, which contained approximately $85,000. Agents also intercepted a package that was being shipped from California to Clark via UPS, which contained 5.5 pounds of methamphetamine.
DEA agents then executed a search warrant at Clark’s residence and seized $95,000 at the time of his arrest.
By pleading guilty, Clark also agreed to forfeit to the government nearly $333,000 that was seized by law enforcement officers, a Chevrolet Camaro, a BMW, a Jaguar, a Ford pick-up truck, a Suzuki motorcycle, a bulldozer, a dump truck and a trailer, all of which were purchased with the proceeds of the drug-trafficking conspiracy or used to commit the offense.
Under federal statutes, Clark is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of life in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $8 million. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gary K. Milligan. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, IRS-Criminal Investigation and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
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