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Press Release

Joplin Man Sentenced to 20 Years for Meth Trafficking, Illegal Firearm

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

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Joplin, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for possessing methamphetamine to distribute and illegally possessing a firearm.

Timothy A. Avey, 40, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Roseann Ketchmark to 20 years in federal prison without parole.

On Oct. 4, 2021, Avey pleaded guilty to one count of possessing pseudoephedrine with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine, one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime, and one count of possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute.

The Ozarks Drug Enforcement Team executed a search warrant at Avey’s residence on June 18, 2019. Officers found 1.38 grams of methamphetamine and a PW Arms firearm in a small safe in the garage. They also found 15 240mg pseudoephedrine pills and 18 120mg pseudoephedrine pills, which Avey admitted he planned to use to manufacture methamphetamine, as well as 10 hallucinogenic mushrooms. Officers found additional components of a methamphetamine lab in the garage. Avey, who admitted he was selling eight ounces of methamphetamine a day, was arrested and posted bond.

On Aug. 29, 2019, a Joplin police officer conducted a traffic stop while Avey was under surveillance. Officers searched the vehicle and, inside a silver Puma bag, found three Ziploc-style baggies; one baggie contained 144 grams of methamphetamine, one contained 1.7 grams of methamphetamine, and one contained 1.4 grams of marijuana. Officers also found another baggie that contained 15.1 grams of methamphetamine in the center console of the vehicle.

According to court documents, these offenses to which Avey pleaded guilty were part of a crime spree that began on May 26, 2019, when Avey attempted to steal items from a store and had 24.2 grams of methamphetamine, heroin, pills, and marijuana in his possession. In June 2019, Avey sold methamphetamine to a confidential law enforcement source. On Aug. 21, 2019, Avey was stopped with 135 grams of methamphetamine. On April 26, 2020, an officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop for having the wrong plate on his vehicle, but Avey fled into a field, propelling the components of his methamphetamine lab out of his truck bed as he attempted to flee. On June 28, 2020, Avey was stopped with 104 grams of methamphetamine. On Oct. 26, 2020, Avey attempted to flee from a traffic stop and wrecked into the hand railing of a church; he had a methamphetamine lab in his car. He was arrested on federal charges the following day.

According to court documents, Avey is a member of the Joplin Honkys prison gang.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Josephine L. Stockard. It was investigated by the Joplin, Mo., Police Department, the Ozarks Drug Enforcement Team, the FBI, the Sarcoxie, Mo., Police Department, and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force

This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at

Updated April 4, 2023

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses