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Press Release

Five St. Joseph Residents Indicted for $2.1 Million Meth Conspiracy

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

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tom Larson, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that five St. Joseph, Mo., residents have been indicted for their roles in a $2.1 million conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

James Patrick Pardee II, 27, Eleeseea Leann Crail, 25, Johnathan Scott Graf, 29, Michael Robert Ramsel, 26, and Adam Christopher Lowe, 38, all of St. Joseph, were charged in a three-count superseding indictment returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Mo., on Nov. 16, 2017. The indictment was unsealed and made public following the arrests and initial court appearances of Pardee and Ramsel, who remain in federal custody. The remaining defendants are currently in custody on unrelated state charges.

The indictment alleges that all five co-defendants participated in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine from Jan. 1, 2015, to Nov. 16, 2017. The indictment alleges the distribution of more than 99 kilograms of methamphetamine during the conspiracy. The five co-defendants are also charged together in one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering in connection with the drug-trafficking conspiracy.

In addition to the conspiracy counts, Pardee is charged with one count of possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute.

The indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation, which would require the five co-defendants to forfeit to the government any property obtained as a result of the drug-trafficking conspiracy, including a money judgment of $2.1 million. This represents the amount of money received in exchange for the unlawful distribution of methamphetamine, the indictment says, based on an approximate sale price of $600 per ounce and distribution of at least 3,500 ounces (approximately 99.2 kilograms) of methamphetamine.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the original criminal complaint, Plattsburg, Mo., police officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop for a lane violation on a black Audi A4 driven by Pardee on Sept. 23, 2017. Pardee fled from officers at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour for approximately nine miles, the affidavit says, until his vehicle crashed into a guardrail. Pardee and a female passenger got out of the vehicle; Pardee was arrested and the female passenger escaped. Officers found a backpack inside the vehicle that contained numerous clear plastic baggies with a total of more than two kilograms of methamphetamine. Investigators later determined that he had recently sold approximately one kilogram of methamphetamine, the affidavit says.
Larson cautioned that the charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bruce Rhoades. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Plattsburg, Mo., Police Department; the Atchison County, Kan., Sheriff’s Department; the Buchanan County Drug Strike Force and Sheriff’s Department; the Jackson County Drug Task Force; the Clinton County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department; the Missouri State Highway Patrol; the Cass County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department; and the Clay County Drug Task Force.

Updated December 4, 2017

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses