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Press Release

Former Holts Summit Woman Pleads Guilty to Meth Conspiracy

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

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Tom Larson, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a former Holts Summit, Mo., woman pleaded guilty in federal court today to her role in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

Jean Elizabeth Sanchez, 52, of Georgia, formerly of Holts Summit, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Willie J. Epps, Jr., to participating in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Callaway County, Mo.

Her husband, Justin Raul Sanchez, 49, of Holts Summit, pleaded guilty to the same charge on Nov. 1, 2016.

Jean and Justin Sanchez were identified by investigators as distributors of large quantities of methamphetamine in the Callaway County area. According to today’s plea agreement, the Sanchezes made three trips to Georgia in March and April 2014 to obtain large quantities of methamphetamine. On each trip, the supplier in Georgia sold them approximately one kilogram of methamphetamine, in a sealed silver coffee can, which they brought back to Holts Summit to distribute. 

Jean Sanchez was stopped by state troopers on U.S. Highway 63 in Taos, Mo., on April 21, 2014, while returning from the third trip to Georgia, according to the plea agreement. The trooper located a large silver coffee can that contained 27 small baggies of methamphetamine (totaling .85 kilograms) underneath the third row of seats in the vehicle. The trooper also found a loaded Taurus .380-caliber handgun inside a glove on the front passenger floorboard.

On April 24, 2014, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at the Sanchezes’ residence. Officers seized two baggies containing methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, $7,817 and a drug ledger. Justin Sanchez was arrested and admitted to officers that he had been distributing methamphetamine from his residence.

Today’s plea agreement also cites two controlled purchases of methamphetamine by a confidential informant at Sanchez’s residence in April 2014. In each instance, the confidential informant agreed to pay $1,300 for 28 grams of methamphetamine. 

Under federal statutes, Jean and Justin Sanchez are each subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of 40 years in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. 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 Lawrence E. Miller. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, LANEG (Lake Area Narcotics Enforcement Group), the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Jefferson City, Mo., Police Department and the MUSTANG Drug Task Force.

Updated November 28, 2017

Drug Trafficking