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Press Release

California Man Sentenced for Mailing Meth to Missouri for Distribution

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Missouri

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Sacramento, California, man was sentenced in federal court today for mailing packages of methamphetamine to southwest Missouri as part of a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Jasper and Newton counties.

John Gabriel Martinez, 39, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Stephen R. Bough to 152 months in federal prison without parole.

On April 21, 2022, Martinez pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine from Aug. 15, 2016, to March 18, 2017, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

On Oct. 4, 2016, Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers executed a search warrant at the residence of co-defendant Daryl B. Weston, 41, of Purcell, Mo. Troopers found approximately 11 grams of pure methamphetamine and $14,822 in cash. Troopers seized a package addressed to Weston from Martinez that contained approximately three pounds of methamphetamine. Weston later told investigators that Martinez had sent him four additional packages that contained a total of nearly six pounds of methamphetamine; co-conspirators then sent drug proceeds back to Martinez.

Co-conspirators admitted they deposited drug proceeds into Martinez’s account at a local branch of Joplin Metro Credit Union. Further investigation revealed that many others in the Joplin area were sending drug proceeds to Martinez in California through local branches of Joplin Metro Credit Union and through the Moneygram system at local Wal-Marts. The total amount of drug proceeds laundered in this case though a credit union and Moneygram was at least $153,014.

Martinez is the final defendant to be sentenced among 19 defendants indicted in this case. Weston was sentenced on Oct. 11, 2022, to eight years in federal prison without parole.                                                                                                                               

This case was prosecuted by Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall D. Eggert. It was investigated by the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Ozarks Drug Enforcement Team, the Drug Enforcement Administration, IRS-Criminal Investigation, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

Updated July 20, 2023

Drug Trafficking