springfield man sentenced to life in prison
for cocaine conspiracy
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – David M. Ketchmark, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Springfield, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for participating in a conspiracy to distribute large amounts of cocaine and crack cocaine in the Springfield area.
Christopher Holmes, 27, of Springfield, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard E. Dorr to life in federal prison without parole for his role in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine, and to manufacture and distribute crack cocaine, from January 1, 2010 to March 14, 2011.
On April 30, 2012 Holmes and co-defendant Carlous S. Horton, 37, of Nixa, Mo., were convicted by a trial jury. Horton was the leader of a drug-trafficking organization that imported multi-kilogram shipments of cocaine from Chicago, Ill., and/or Dallas, Texas, on a monthly basis. The shipments, averaging two kilograms per trip, were transported to Springfield by vehicles, commercial bus lines and commercial airlines. Once the cocaine arrived in Springfield, the organization processed it and distributed it as either cocaine or crack cocaine. Holmes was Horton’s main distributor.
In addition to the drug-trafficking conspiracy, Holmes was found guilty of one count of possessing cocaine with the intent to distribute and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Holmes, who has a prior felony conviction, was in possession of a Smith & Wesson .38-caliber handgun.
Horton, who was sentenced on Oct. 18, 2012 to life in federal prison without parole, was also found guilty of participating in a money-laundering conspiracy. Horton was also convicted of seven counts of distributing cocaine, one count of distributing crack cocaine, one count of possessing cocaine with the intent to manufacture crack cocaine, one count of possessing cocaine with the intent to distribute, four counts of money laundering and one count of being a felon in possession of firearms. Horton, who has a prior felony conviction, was in possession of an FFG 9mm handgun, a Luger 9mm handgun, and an SCCY Industries 9mm handgun.
Twelve co-defendants have pleaded guilty to the charges contained in a July 20, 2011, superseding indictment and eight of them have been sentenced.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gary Milligan. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Springfield, Mo., Police Department and IRS-Criminal Investigation.