News and Press Releases

OCDETF investigation

14 defendants indicted for meth trafficking, illegal firearms

June 20, 2011

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that 14 defendants have been indicted by a federal grand jury for their roles in a drug trafficking conspiracy and for illegally possessing firearms.

The federal indictment is the result of an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation into a multi-state methamphetamine-trafficking organization. The drug-trafficking organization allegedly distributed large quantities of methamphetamine in southwest Missouri and elsewhere.

The indictment, which was returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Springfield, Mo., on Tuesday, June 14, 2011, was unsealed and made public today upon the arrests and initial court appearances of several defendants.

Ricky Del Prigg, 54, Dennis R. Reid, 53, and Hector Ferrer-Chavez, 55, a citizen of Mexico, all of Joplin, Mo.; Donald D. Simonds, Jr., 37, Timothy L. Kent, 49, and Lori Kent, 49, all of Carthage, Mo.; Darrell Thomason, 42, of Jasper, Mo.; Harold E. Holland, 40, of Sarcoxie, Mo.; Tony Raley, 41, of Wentworth, Mo.; Noel Reyes-Garcia, 41, a citizen of Mexico residing in Arkansas; Iris Leticia Correa, 40, a citizen of Mexico residing in Garland, Texas; Gerardo Antonio Garcia, a citizen of Mexico, and Jefferson White, 44, both of Springdale, Ark.; and Lyndsey M. Johnson, 32, of Rogers, Ark.; were charged in a 26-count indictment.

The federal indictment alleges that all of the defendants participated in a conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine in Jasper County, Mo., and elsewhere from May 2010 to Jan. 25, 2011.

In addition to the drug-trafficking conspiracy, Prigg is charged with participating in a money-laundering conspiracy. The indictment alleges that Prigg conducted financial transactions that involved the proceeds of illegal drug trafficking. Prigg is also charged with six counts of distributing methamphetamine in Jasper County.

Ferrer-Chavez is also charged with one count of possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute in Jasper County, and one count of illegally reentering the United States after having been deported.

Simonds and Thomason are also charged together with one count of possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute in Jasper County.

Reid is also charged with attempting to destroy methamphetamine in order to prevent its seizure by law enforcement officers.

Timothy and Lori Kent are also charged with making their apartment in Carthage available for illegally storing methamphetamine.

Holland was also charged with two counts of being a felon and an unlawful user of marijuana while in possession of firearms and ammunition. The indictment alleges that Holland was in possession of a Harrington and Richardson .22-caliber revolver and five rounds of ammunition on Nov. 9, 2010, in Lawrence County, Mo. The indictment also alleges that Holland was in possession of a Savage Arms 410 shotgun, a Savage 12-gauge shotgun and ammunition on Dec. 4, 2010, in Lawrence County. Holland was also charged with one count of possessing a sawed-off shotgun.

Raley is also charged with four counts of distributing methamphetamine in Lawrence County.

Correa is also charged with two counts, and White with three counts, of using a telephone to facilitate the drug-trafficking conspiracy.

The federal indictment also contains forfeiture allegations, which would require Ferrer-Chavez to forfeit to the government $1,517 that was seized by law enforcement officers, and would require Holland to forfeit to the government all firearms and ammunition cited in the indictment.

Phillips cautioned that the charges contained in these indictments are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David P. Rush. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations, IRS-Criminal Investigation, the Southwest Missouri Drug Task Force, the Joplin, Mo., Police Department, the Jasper County Drug Task Force, the Jasper County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Jasper County, Mo., Prosecutor’s Office, the Lawrence County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Lawrence County, Mo., Prosecutor’s Office, the Benton County, Ark., Sheriff’s Department, and the Benton County, Ark., Prosecutor’s Office.

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