OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106
FEBRUARY 24, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OPERATION FAMILY TREE
EIGHT CO-DEENDANTS SENTENCED IN
$6 MILLION METH CONSPIRACY
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that eight co-defendants, primarily residents of Springfield, Mo., have been sentenced in federal court for their roles in a multi-million dollar conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. These convictions resulted from Operation Family Tree, a multi-agency investigation into shipments of large quantities of methamphetamine from Arizona for distribution in Greene County, Mo.
Jason W. Condra, 25, Jorge C. Ramirez, 26, and Joshua L. Kelley, 31, all of Springfield, and Rebecca P. Tudor, 52, of Phoenix, Ariz., were sentenced in separate hearings today before U.S. District Judge Ortrie D. Smith. Condra was sentenced to eight years and nine months in federal prison without parole. Ramirez was sentenced to six years and six months in federal prison without parole. Kelley was sentenced to five years in federal prison without parole. Tudor was sentenced to three years in federal prison without parole, which will be served consecutive to her current state prison sentence in Nebraska.
Four co-defendants were sentenced on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2010. Charles M. Doyle, 48, who is serving a federal prison sentence in an unrelated case, was sentenced to seven years and seven months in federal prison without parole. Stephanie K. Weese, 27, of Springfield, was sentenced to two years and six months in federal prison without parole. Her sister, Krystal G. Weese, 22, address unknown and Angela M. Gentry, 41, of Springfield, were each sentenced to five years of probation.
These eight defendants are among 16 co-defendants who have pleaded guilty to their roles in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Greene County from December 2004 to November 2006. Condra and Ramirez also pleaded guilty to illegally possessing firearms in furtherance of the drug-trafficking conspiracy.
Juan Avila, also known as “Whopper,” 31, of Litchfield, Ariz., was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison without parole after pleading guilty to his role in the methamphetamine conspiracy. Edward Ortiz, also known as “Juante,” 22, of Youngstown, Ariz., was sentenced to 12 years and six months in federal prison without parole after pleading guilty to his role in the methamphetamine conspiracy.
Several defendants have pleaded guilty and await sentencing. In addition to the drug-trafficking conspiracy, Lori G. Weese, 49, of Flemington, the mother of Stephanie Weese and Krystal Weese, also pleaded guilty to her role in a money-laundering conspiracy involving drug-trafficking proceeds. Weese admitted that she received shipments of methamphetamine from co-conspirators in Arizona, which she distributed to others in southwest Missouri – including her three daughters, who are co-defendants. During the conspiracy, Weese received multi-pound shipments of methamphetamine on a weekly basis, for which she paid up to $20,000 per pound.
Weese paid approximately $6 million to her suppliers for the shipments of methamphetamine. Weese paid for the methamphetamine by hiding the cash inside the door of a vehicle that was driven back to the suppliers in Arizona. Drug proceeds were also deposited into bank accounts by co-conspirators. Weese also conducted wire transfers of the drug-trafficking proceeds to Arizona or Mexico.
Also awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to their roles in the drug-trafficking conspiracy are Weese’s daughter, Sarah A. Weese, 24, of Nixa, Mo., as well as Eileen M. Garger, 37, and Toreiko S. Miller, 36, both of Springfield, Michael A. Trujillo, 29, of Flemington, Mo., Richard A. Lester, 31, of Republic, Mo., Aaron M. Garger, 45, of Buffalo, Mo., and Fernando Nunez, also known as “Playboy,” 25, of Glendale, Ariz.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David P. Rush. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, IRS-Criminal Investigation, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Springfield, Mo., Police Department, the Greene County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Polk County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, COMET (the Combined Ozarks Multi-jurisdictional Enforcement Team), the Greene County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, the Bolivar, Mo., Police Department and the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
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