doj.gif

NEWS RELEASE

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

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html


SEPTEMBER 22, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


COLUMBIA MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO $4 MILLION

DRUG-TRAFFICKING CONSPIRACY


            JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Matt J. Whitworth, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Columbia, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to his role in a $4 million conspiracy to distribute marijuana in Boone County, Mo.


            Robert Allen Hocks, 28, of Columbia, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge William A. Knox this afternoon to his role in the drug-trafficking conspiracy, which involved distributing 100 kilograms or more of marijuana.


            The original indictment in this case was filed in March 2007 in the wake of one of the largest seizures of marijuana in the history of the Columbia Police Department. The conspiracy was allegedly responsible for distributing at least 3,706 pounds of marijuana, which resulted in more than $4 million in gross proceeds. More than $175,000 of that amount has been seized by the government.


            When Columbia police officers executed a search warrant at a stash house at 4647 Brandon Woods, Columbia (at an apartment rented by Hocks), they discovered approximately 200 pounds of marijuana inside the trunk of an Audi A6 that was registered to Hocks.


            Hocks also admitted that he had traveled to Massachusetts to purchase high-grade British Columbian marijuana.


            By pleading guilty today, Hocks agreed to forfeit to the government his forfeitable assets in an amount of up to $4,210,336, which was the amount of the proceeds derived from the drug-trafficking conspiracy.


            Under federal statutes, Hocks is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison without parole, up to 40 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $2 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 Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Lauren Kummerer and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Lynn. It was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, IRS-Criminal Investigation and the Columbia, Mo., Police Department.

****************

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