SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that five defendants pleaded guilty in federal court this week to charges related to a large-scale methamphetamine conspiracy.
Jerry Dean Wright, Jr., 38, and his wife, Shannon K. Wright, 36, both of Ozark, Mo., Perry L. Adams, 39, of Springfield, Mo., and Joseph A. Dreckmeier,32, of Gilbert, Ariz., pleaded guilty today in separate appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge James C. England to the charges contained in a May 6, 2014, federal indictment. Co-defendant Salvador Campos, 32, of Los Angeles, Calif., pleaded guilty on Tuesday, June 10, 2014.
By pleading guilty, Jerry Wright, Adams, Dreckmeier and Campos each admitted that he participated in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine between Sept. 4, 2012, and June 5, 2013. They also each pleaded guilty to money laundering. Shannon Wright pleaded guilty to money laundering.
Jerry Wright was involved with a group in the southwest Missouri area that distributed large amounts of methamphetamine. He arranged for multi-pound shipments of methamphetamine to be shipped from Arizona and California to Missouri. Jerry Wright and other members of the conspiracy received the methamphetamine and distributed it in southwest Missouri.
Jerry and Shannon Wright, Adams, Dreckmeier and Campos are among nine co-defendants who have pleaded guilty in this case.
On April 11, 2013, officers with the Texas Department of Public Safety stopped a vehicle that was carrying approximately nine pounds of methamphetamine. A search of the car revealed that it was registered to Shannon Wright and the insurance was in the name of Jerry Wright. The methamphetamine was intended for delivery to Wright.
In June 2013, an investigation in the state of California led to the stop of several individuals in Missouri. Co-defendant Myrna Aguirre, 42, of Los Angeles, drove a Mercedes to Springfield containing approximately 10 pounds of pure methamphetamine. After delivering it to Springfield, Missouri, Campos and other co-defendants took possession of the Mercedes. They were attempting to deliver it to Jerry Wright, when they were stopped by law enforcement and the methamphetamine was found hidden in the vehicle. Aguirre has also pleaded guilty to her role in the conspiracy.
In October 2012, co-defendants Robert Joseph Cantrell, 42, of Seymour, Mo., and Brandon Hinkley, 35, of Republic, Mo., drove to Arizona and met with Dreckmeier. Dreckmeier arranged for approximately 25 pounds of methamphetamine to be loaded into a rental vehicle, which Hinkley then drove back to Missouri and delivered to Jerry Wright. Cantrell and Hinkley have pleaded guilty to their roles in the conspiracy.
In addition to the 25-pound methamphetamine shipment arranged in October 2012, Jerry Wright arranged with Dreckmeier for at least three other multi-pound shipments of methamphetamine to be sent to Missouri in a VW Beetle that was equipped with a hidden compartment. These shipments were also being sent to Jerry Wright for distribution by him and other members of the conspiracy in southwest Missouri.
Shannon Wright and other members of the conspiracy distributed the methamphetamine in southwest Missouri. Shannon Wright also collected money for Jerry Wright, which had been paid for the distribution of methamphetamine.
During the conspiracy, Adams received small amounts of methamphetamine from Jerry and Shannon Wright and then sold it to others. On April 1, 2013, Adams was stopped by police and found to be in possession of 1/8 ounce of methamphetamine which he had received from Jerry Wright. Adams was also present when Jerry Wright removed a large amount of methamphetamine from a Chevrolet Avalanche in the spring of 2013, which is estimated to be between two to four pounds.
On March 7, 2013, Adams and Jerry Wright brought $29,600 in cash to Springfield Imports car dealership in Springfield for the purchase of a 2012 Chevrolet Camaro. The money used to purchase the Camaro was derived from the distribution of methamphetamine and the transaction was designed to conceal that fact.
On April 7, 2013, Jerry Wright brought approximately $47,848 in cash to Midwest Auto Group Motors LLC for the purchase of a 2010 Dodge Challenger and a 2010 Chevrolet Camaro. The money used to purchase the Challenger and the Camaro was derived from Jerry Wrights’ distribution of methamphetamine.
On April 8, 2013, Dreckmeier brought $35,000 in cash to Reliable Chevrolet in Springfield for the purchase of a 2013 Chevrolet Camaro. Shannon Wright brought another $8,000 the following day. The transaction was conducted on behalf of Jerry Wright. The money used to purchase the Camaro was derived from the Wrights’ and Dreckmeier’s distribution of methamphetamine.
Under the terms of today’s plea agreements, Jerry and Shannon Wright must forfeit to the government a 1998 Jaguar, two 2003 Harley Davidson motorcycles, a 2004 Chevrolet SSR, a 2005 Pontiac GTO, a 2006 Chrysler 300C, a 2007 Chevrolet Avalanche, a 2008 Chevrolet Avalanche, two 2010 Chevrolet Camaros, a 2010 Dodge Challenger and a 2012 Chevrolet Camaro, all of which were obtained from the proceeds of the methamphetamine trafficking.
Under federal statutes, Jerry Wright is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of life in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $20 million.
Shannon Wright is subject to a sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000.
Adams is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of life in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $10.5 million.
Dreckmeier is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of life in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $10,250,000.
Sentencing hearings will be scheduled after the completion of presentence investigations by the United States Probation Office.This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gary Milligan. It was investigated by the Springfield, Mo., Police Department, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, IRS-Criminal Investigation, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Webster County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department and the Ozark, Mo., Police Department.