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Press Release

Jury Convicts Kentucky Man of Meth Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Missouri
Faces at Least 10 Years in Prison

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Waynesburg, Kentucky, man who was caught at a traffic stop with 10 pounds of methamphetamine hidden in a spare tire was convicted by a federal trial jury today of his role in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

Kevin Ray Wilson, 46, was found guilty of participating in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

Wilson was driving a 2004 Toyota 4Runner SUV on May 19, 2015, on I-70 eastbound near Highway H. A Lafayette County, Mo., sheriff’s deputy saw Wilson commit a traffic violation by failing to use a turn signal and pulling in front of a semi-tractor trailer in a careless manner. The deputy also noticed that the Toyota displayed two different license plates.

The deputy stopped Wilson’s vehicle. Wilson and his passenger, co-defendant Kenneth W. Dowell, 50, also of Waynesburg, seemed nervous and gave inconsistent statements about their trip. A police drug detection dog indicated a positive alert for the odor of illegal drugs, and the deputy searched the vehicle. 

During the search of the vehicle, the deputy discovered a blanket that was covering a spare tire. The tire was deflated and off the rim. In addition to the tire, there were several pry tools and a sledge hammer lying next to the tire. The rim of the tire was scraped up with large gouges and scrape marks along the outer edge. The deputy used a knife to cut into the tire and located a blue nylon bag concealed inside. Inside the nylon bag were 10 one-pound bundles of methamphetamine. The deputy also found $2,900 (all in $100 bills and wrapped with rubber bands around it) under the front seat; Wilson also had $1,622 in cash at the time of his arrest.

Dowell pleaded guilty on Sept. 18, 2017, to his role in the drug-trafficking conspiracy and awaits sentencing.

Following the presentation of evidence, the jury in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo., deliberated for less than three hours before returning the guilty verdict to U.S. District Judge Stephen R. Bough, ending a trial that began Monday, Oct. 29, 2018.

Under federal statutes, Wilson is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of life 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 defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. 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 Alison D. Dunning and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Courtney R. Pratten. It was investigated by the Lafayette County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Updated November 1, 2018

Drug Trafficking