Jury Convicts Excelsior Springs Man of Meth Conspiracy
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that an Excelsior Springs, Mo., man who called law enforcement officers to his home for assistance – where he was helping to manufacture methamphetamine – was convicted by a federal trial jury today on charges related to his role in a conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine.
Anthony Trurice Grayson, 30, of Excelsior Springs, was found guilty of participating in a conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine from July 1 to July 16, 2013, attempting to manufacture methamphetamine, possessing pseudoephedrine to manufacture methamphetamine and maintaining a drug house.
Co-defendants Glenn Allen DiFalco, 51, of Kansas City, Mo., and Clarissa Nelson Cooper, 46, of Harrison, Mo., have pleaded guilty to their roles in the conspiracy. They admitted that, given the amount of pseudoephedrine seized by law enforcement officers, the conspiracy could have produced approximately three kilograms of pure methamphetamine. Three kilograms of pure methamphetamine would have a street value of more than $100,000.
Grayson contacted the Ray County Sheriff’s Department on July 16, 2013, and told officers he was being threatened by DiFalco. DiFalco and Cooper were homeless at the time and were staying at Grayson’s home for several days. Grayson, who had fled from his residence, told officers that DiFalco had a gun and that he feared for his life. Officers met Grayson about a half-mile from his residence; he gave them permission to enter his house and arrest DiFalco.
As officers were speaking to Grayson, DiFalco and Cooper approached in a Dodge truck. The vehicle abruptly turned and drove away and officers began pursuing them. When DiFalco’s vehicle stopped in a dead-end cul-de-sac, Cooper fled from the vehicle on foot and was chased by officers, who apprehended and arrested her. DiFalco was also arrested.
Officers searched DiFalco’s truck and found an airsoft gun and drug paraphernalia, including glass smoking pipes, syringes and a substance that was suspected to be crystal methamphetamine. DiFalco’s vehicle was so completely filled with debris and clutter that officers couldn’t adequately search it. The significant amount of items in the vehicle impeded law enforcement’s ability to recover and appropriately process the numerous items of drug paraphernalia and what was also suspected to be crystal methamphetamine. Officers therefore had DiFalco’s vehicle towed to a secured lot for further investigation.
Officers returned to Grayson’s home following the vehicle pursuit and observed, in plain view, numerous items of drug paraphernalia commonly used to smoke and manufacture methamphetamine. During a search of Grayson’s residence, officers located coffee filters with iodine and powder residue, a bottle of 100% household lye, small baggies normally used to package drugs, glassware/cookware and Mason jars with residue (which were altered to facilitate methamphetamine manufacture), tubing, glass smoking pipes, a white crystal-like unknown substance, weighing approximately 215.8 grams (not believed to be a controlled substance but some type of cutting agent), one bag of ground-up Cold Buster pseudoephedrine pills weighing approximately 88.8 grams and several plastic baggies containing methamphetamine, weighing approximately 53.2 grams. Officers also located a suspected explosive device, which was later identified as a “booby-trap” device.
When they searched DiFalco’s vehicle the next day, officers found approximately 80,000 pills of Cold Buster pseudoephedrine hydrochloride. These pills were contained in 91 one-gallon plastic bags. They found three bags containing ground-up pseudoephedrine hydrochloride pills with a total weight of 736 grams. They also found smoking pipes, numerous handwritten recipes for various methods of methamphetamine manufacture, a butane torch, a bottle of iodine solution and several packs of iodine swabs, a laptop computer and three cell phones.
Following the presentation of evidence, the jury in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo., deliberated for three hours before returning the verdict to U.S. Chief District Judge Greg Kays, ending a trial that began Monday, March 2, 2015.
DiFalco was sentenced on Sept. 17, 2014, to seven years and six months in federal prison without parole. Cooper awaits sentencing.
Under federal statutes, Grayson is subject to a sentence of up to 80 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $2.75 million. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph M. Marquez and Special Assistant US Attorney Jeffrey Q. McCarther. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration.