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Press Release

Columbia Man Sentenced After Leaving Nearly a Kilo of Meth in Rental Vehicle

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

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Columbia, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today after his wife returned a rental vehicle with nearly a kilogram of methamphetamine in the trunk.

Milton Tyron McGruder, 37, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Brian C. Wimes to 10 years in federal prison without parole.

On Sept. 18, 2018, McGruder pleaded guilty to possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute.

On Aug. 4, 2017, employees at Enterprise Rent-a-Car in Columbia found a black toiletry bag in the back trunk area of a GMC Yukon that had been returned by McGruder’s wife. Inside the bag was a vacuum-sealed Ziploc bag that contained approximately 934 grams of methamphetamine. 

 After returning the rental car, but before the black toiletry bag had been found, McGruder’s wife called Enterprise and claimed that $700 in cash had been left in the Yukon. She asked if Enterprise employees had found it. Nothing had been found at that point, so she was told that nothing had been recovered. She then asked if she could re-rent the Yukon, but was told that the vehicle had already been rented.

After the call from McGruder’s wife, an Enterprise employee went back outside to the Yukon and searched it. The toiletry bag containing methamphetamine was located in the trunk of the Yukon in the long, rectangular, spare tire compartment. Enterpise employees then called the police department.

McGruder and his wife came to Enterprise and acted as if they wanted to rent another vehicle. An Enterprise employee accompanied them outside to show them another vehicle; however, McGruder went straight to the Yukon and proceeded to search it. McGruder went back  inside and asked an employee if they had found a small black toiletry bag. When told that no such bag had been found, McGruder and his wife left Enterprise without renting another vehicle.

McGruder returned while police officers were speaking with Enterprise employees and he was arrested. He told officers that his wife had returned the car while he was still asleep. After a drug canine alerted to the vehicle driven by McGruder, officers searched it and found a loaded SCCY, CPX-2 9mm pistol, nine Adderall pills, marijuana, methamphetamine, and assorted cell phones.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Lynn. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Columbia, Mo., Police Department.

Updated April 11, 2019

Drug Trafficking