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Press Release

Dixon Woman Sentenced to 23 Years for Meth Trafficking

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Missouri
Meth Concealed Inside Plush Children’s Toys Sent Though the Mail

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Dixon, Mo., woman has been sentenced in federal court for possessing methamphetamine to distribute.

Connie M. Gonzales, 53, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Roseann Ketchmark on Aug. 31, 2023, to 23 years in federal prison without parole.

On Nov. 17, 2022, Gonzales pleaded guilty to one count of possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute and one count of possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute in a premises where a minor resided.

According to court documents, multiple criminal investigations were conducted between January 2017 and August 2021 by state agencies, including the Missouri State Highway Patrol and law enforcement personnel in Pulaski County, which implicated Gonzales in one or more drug-trafficking schemes. Investigators learned that Gonzales obtained large quantities of methamphetamine from a supplier in Arizona by traveling to and from Arizona while concealing contraband in a spare tire, or by arranging for the methamphetamine to be mailed to her.

One confidential informant told investigators he/she received one or two pounds of methamphetamine from Gonzales every one to three weeks. The informant reported having witnessed 10 to 15 pounds of methamphetamine in Gonzales’s residence on several occasions. Gonzales was on state probation during this period, having pleaded guilty to the felony offense of possessing methamphetamine in 2016.

Federal agents seized two packages that had been mailed to Gonzales in September 2021. The first package was mailed from a non-existent children’s toy business in Mesa, Arizona, to a St. Roberts, Mo., address. It contained approximately 1.5 kilograms of methamphetamine in six separate bundles concealed inside plush children’s toys. The second package was addressed to Kathleen Kubes (Gonzales’s deceased mother) at Gonzales’s residence. It contained approximately 1.2 kilograms of methamphetamine in five separate bundles concealed inside plush children’s toys.

Law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Gonzalez’s residence on March 21, 2022. Gonzales was present, along with her adult daughter and her three children (ages seven to 11), who also lived at the residence. Investigators found a safe in the master bedroom that contained a large bag of crystal methamphetamine, three small baggies of crystal methamphetamine, and drug paraphernalia. Investigators also found a cellophane-wrapped package on the bed, under the sheet, that contained a large quantity of methamphetamine. In total, officers seized approximately 848 grams of methamphetamine.

Gonzales told investigators she made multiple trips to Arizona, where she would obtain one or two pounds of methamphetamine per trip.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John D. Hatcher. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Pulaski County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the South Central Drug Task Force, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

Updated December 5, 2023

Drug Trafficking