News and Press Releases

Jury convicts monett man of meth conspiracy,
firearms violations

March 4, 2011

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Monett, Mo., man was convicted by a federal jury today for his role in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and illegally possessing firearms.

            Roberto Rodriguez, 26, of Monett, was found guilty of five counts contained in a May 12, 2010, federal indictment.

            Rodriguez was convicted of his role in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Barry County, Mo., from October 2009 to February 2010. He was also convicted of being in possession of 50 grams or more of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute it in Barry County, and of maintaining a residence in Monett for the purpose of using and distributing methamphetamine.

            Rodriguez was also convicted of two counts of being a felon and an unlawful user of methamphetamine while in possession of firearms. He was in possession of a Springfield Armory .45-caliber handgun on Dec. 7, 2009, in Christian County, Mo. He was in possession of a Ruger .45-caliber revolver and a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun on Feb. 1, 2010, at his residence where he was arrested.

            The jury also convicted Rodriguez of three forfeiture allegations. Rodriguez must forfeit $2,669 that was seized from his residence at the time of his arrest, as well as the firearms.

            Following the presentation of evidence, the jury in the U.S. District Court in Springfield, Mo., deliberated for about an hour and a half before returning the guilty verdict to U.S. District Judge Richard E. Dorr, ending a trial that began Tuesday, March 1, 2011.

            Under federal statutes, Rodriguez is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $5 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 Assistant U.S. Attorneys Timothy A. Garrison and David P. Rush. It was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Southwest Missouri Drug Task Force, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the police departments of Billings, Clever, and Monett, Mo.

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