Four Indicted for Meth Conspiracies in Jasper, Greene Counties
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that four individuals were indicted by a federal grand jury today in two separate and unrelated conspiracies to distribute methamphetamine in Jasper County, Mo., and in Greene County, Mo.
USA v. Soto-Garcia, et al.
Santiago Soto-Garcia, 23, Destiny O’Brien, 20, and Michael L. Gonzalez, also known as “Chavez,” 23, were charged in a three-count superseding indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Springfield, Mo. Today’s superseding indictment replaces an indictment returned by the grand jury on Aug. 25, 2015, and includes two additional charges.
According to court documents, law enforcement officers had received information that Soto-Garcia and O’Brien were multiple-pound distributors of methamphetamine. Members of the Ozark Drug Enforcement Team were conducting surveillance at a Joplin, Mo., residence when they saw a 2006 BMW driven by Soto-Garcia leaving the residence. The vehicle was stopped and officers saw two pistols on the floorboard by the feet of Gonzalez, a passenger in the rear seat. O’Brien was a passenger in the front seat.
All of the defendants were told to get out of the car. Both Soto-Garcia and O’Brien were arrested for resisting arrest after struggling with officers. A K-9 alerted to the presence of narcotics in the BMW. Officers found a package that contained 501 grams of methamphetamine in O’Brien’s purse, and found approximately seven grams of methamphetamine on O’Brien.
Today’s indictment alleges that Soto-Garcia, O’Brien and Gonzalez participated in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Jasper County from Nov. 1, 2013, to Aug. 11, 2015. They are also charged together, as in the original indictment, in one count of possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute.
Soto-Garcia, O’Brien and Gonzalez are also charged together in one count of aiding and abetting each other to possess firearms in furtherance of the drug-trafficking conspiracy. They allegedly possessed a Hi-Point .40-caliber firearm and a Kel-Tec .223-caliber firearm on Aug. 11, 2015.
This case is being prosecuted by Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall D. Eggert and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jody Larison. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Ozark Drug Enforcement Team, the Joplin, Mo., Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
USA v. Nemecek
Caleb E. Nemecek, 25, of Chadwick, Mo., was charged in a four-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Springfield, Mo.
Today’s indictment alleges that Nemecek participated in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Greene County, Mo., and Jasper County, Mo., from Nov. 7, 2014, to Nov. 17, 2015. The indictment also charges Nemecek with two counts of possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute.
Nemecek is also charged with possessing a firearm in furtherance of the drug-trafficking conspiracy. Nemecek allegedly possessed a Sig Sauer handgun on Nov. 7, 2014.
This case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jody Larison. It was investigated by the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Springfield, Mo., Police Department; the Oklahoma State Highway Patrol; the Greene County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department; the Joplin, Mo., Police Department; the Ozarks Drug Enforcement Team; and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Dickinson cautioned that the charges contained in these indictments are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.