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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Missouri

Friday, February 2, 2018

Independence Man Sentenced to 15 Years for Meth Conspiracy

Three Co-defendants Also Sentenced

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Timothy A. Garrison, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that an Independence, Mo., man was among four area residents sentenced in federal court for their roles in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.


William D. Whitehurst, 54, of Independence, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Brian C. Wimes on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018, to 15 years in federal prison without parole.


Co-defendants John D. Grandon, 47, of Independence, his sister, Regina R. Williamson, 54, of Kansas City, Mo., and James P. Earl, 48, of Blue Springs, Mo., were also sentenced yesterday. Grandon was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison without parole. Williamson was sentenced to two years and six months in federal prison without parole. Earl was sentenced to four years and six months in federal prison without parole.


Whitehurst, Grandon, Williamson and Earl each pleaded guilty to their roles in a drug-trafficking conspiracy that ran from Nov. 1, 2013, to Sept. 24, 2014. Grandon also pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime.


Whitehurst and Earl each admitted that he purchased methamphetamine from co-defendant Melanie C. Hamilton, 45, of Independence. They then redistributed that methamphetamine to Grandon, Williamson and others.


Grandon admitted that he is individually responsible for the purchase and redistribution of at least 1.5 kilograms of methamphetamine. A confidential informant told investigators that he had seen Grandon at his residence with half a pound of methamphetamine and a gun. Law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Grandon’s residence on July 1, 2014, and found approximately 160 grams of methamphetamine, a Smith and Wesson .380-caliber revolver, $2,944 and numerous items of drug paraphernalia. Grandon told investigators that he had purchased approximately half a pound of methamphetamine each week from Whitehurst over the past three months (approximately 2.7 kilograms).


Williamson admitted to selling approximately three to four ounces of methamphetamine per week at $1,000 per ounce for approximately two months (approximately 792 grams of methamphetamine). Williamson sold methamphetamine to her brother Grandon’s customers while he was incarcerated.


Hamilton pleaded guilty to being the source of supply for the drug-trafficking conspiracy and is scheduled to be sentenced on April 12, 2018. Hamilton admitted that she obtained large quantities of methamphetamine, which she broke down into smaller quantities for redistribution. A confidential informant made three separate controlled purchases from Hamilton; on each occasion she weighed out approximately 8.3 grams of methamphetamine from a large zip-lock freezer bag that contained multiple pounds of methamphetamine.


Law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Hamilton’s residence on Sept. 24, 2014, and seized more than a kilogram of methamphetamine, a DVR containing video surveillance of individuals coming and going from her residence, and drug paraphernalia. Hamilton told investigators that she had received one to two pounds of methamphetamine from her source every other week over the past three months (1.5 pounds per two weeks, or three pounds per month, totals nine pounds, or 4,086 grams). The totality of the investigation indicates that Hamilton was involved in the distribution of at least five kilograms of methamphetamine.


Five additional co-defendants have also pleaded guilty and been sentenced.


This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Edwards. It was investigated by the Jackson County Drug Task Force and the Independence, Mo., Police Department.

Drug Trafficking
Updated February 2, 2018