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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Missouri

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Carthage Man Sentenced for $1 Million Meth Conspiracy

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Carthage, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for his role in a conspiracy to distribute more than $1 million worth of methamphetamine in southern Missouri and in the Kansas City, Mo., area.

Jarub Ray Baird, 27, of Carthage, was sentenced by U.S. Chief District Judge Greg Kays to 11 years and 10 months in federal prison without parole.

On July 31, 2017, Baird pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine from Jan. 1, 2014, to Nov. 17, 2016, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Co-defendant Michael Ryan Nevatt, 28, of Springfield, was convicted at trial on Friday, April 6, 2018, of all seven counts contained in a Nov. 17, 2016, federal indictment. Co-defendant Kenneth Lake, 56, of Strafford, Mo., was the original head of the organization, coordinating vehicle transport shipments of methamphetamine from a Mexican cartel source in Texas to Springfield. Conspirators in Springfield divided the methamphetamine for distribution to the Lebanon, Mo., and Kansas City, Mo., areas. Lake has pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing.

Nevatt subsequently became the head of the organization. Nevatt and other conspirators made regular trips, and sometimes travelled several times a week, to pick up multiple-pound supplies of methamphetamine. For example, Nevatt traveled to Texas regularly to pick up 10 pounds of methamphetamine and bring it back to Springfield. Nevatt would later return to Texas with approximately $100,000 in cash to pay for it. On one occasion, Nevatt met sources in Dallas, Texas, to purchase 40 pounds of methamphetamine. Mexican sources also delivered multiple-pound shipments of methamphetamine by truck or car to Springfield.

Baird assisted Nevatt with obtaining and distributing more than five kilograms of methamphetamine and with collecting drug proceeds for the methamphetamine that was distributed. On Aug. 28, 2015, Lake and co-defendant Kara Rene Baze, 25, of Springfield, were arrested during a search warrant at a hotel room in Springfield. Officers recovered $102,787, a loaded handgun and a small amount of methamphetamine. Nevatt and Baird arrived in a black Corvette and after a brief chase were apprehended. Baze has pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing.

Baird is among 15 defendants who have been convicted in this case, and the third defendant to be sentenced. Scott Bryan Sands, 53, of Springfield, was sentenced on April 12, 2018, to 10 years and 10 months in federal prison without parole. Aaron Randall Stull, 53, of Springfield, was sentenced on Feb. 8, 2018, to eight years in federal prison without parole.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bruce Rhoades and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Ashleigh Ragner. It was investigated by the Buchanan County Drug Strike Force, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, the Buchanan County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Springfield, Mo., Police Department, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Central Oklahoma Metro Interdiction Team.

Drug Trafficking
Updated April 18, 2018