News and Press Releases

springfield man sentenced to 18 years for marijuana, illegal firearm

Three co-defendants also sentenced

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 9, 2010

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that three Springfield, Mo., men and a Denton, Texas, man have been sentenced in federal court for their roles in a conspiracy

Cale Harris, 33, Ricky D. Snook, 50, and Keith A. Thompson, 27, all of Springfield, and Elton Earl Warren III, 28, of Denton, were sentenced in separate hearings before U.S. District Judge Gary A. Fenner on Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010. Harris was sentenced to 18 years and four months in federal prison without parole. Snook and Thompson were each sentenced to three years and four months in federal prison without parole. Warren was sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison without parole.

On May 13, 2010, Harris pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute marijuana, possessing and discharging a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking conspiracy and to his role in a money-laundering conspiracy. Harris admitted that, from Jan. 1, 2004, to Sept. 19, 2006, he participated in a conspiracy to obtain and transport marijuana for distribution in Springfield. Harris purchased marijuana from co-defendant Juan Nava, 41, of Dallas, Texas. Nava, who pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy, was sentenced on May 18, 2010, to 17 years and six months in federal prison without parole.

Harris’s plea agreement stipulates that most readily provable relevant conduct is between 100 to 400 kilograms of marijuana distributed during the conspiracy. During the course of the investigation, approximately 61.91 kilograms of marijuana was seized from either Harris or couriers acting on Harris’s behalf.

Harris admitted that, related to the drug-trafficking conspiracy, he shot another person who owed him $15,000 for the purchase of marijuana. Harris also admitted that he engaged in a money-laundering conspiracy by wiring the profits of his marijuana sales to co-conspirators, thus promoting the scheme to distribute marijuana. In total, the conspiracy distributed at least $120,778 in wire transfers in order to purchase more marijuana for distribution.

Harris, Snook, Thompson and Warren are among 12 co-defendants who have pleaded guilty to the charges contained in a Dec. 18, 2008, federal indictment.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall D. Eggert. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Springfield, Mo., Police Department, COMET (the Combined Ozarks Multi-jurisdictional Enforcement Team) and the Christian County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department.

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