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Press Release

KC Man Pleads Guilty to $10 Million Conspiracy to Distribute 1,000 Kilos of Meth

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Missouri
Faces at Least 20 Years in Prison

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Kansas City, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to his role in a nearly $10 million conspiracy to distribute almost 1,000 kilograms of methamphetamine.

Joshua A. Brown, 38, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Greg Kays to participating in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine from Sept. 1, 2018, to Nov. 5, 2019.

Brown was arrested on March 26, 2019, after he paid $5,000 to purchase methamphetamine from a co-defendant through an intermediate, who was a confidential law enforcement source. Kansas City, Mo., police officers then arrested Brown in the parking lot of the apartment building where he received the methamphetamine.

Brown, who was driving a stolen Volkswagen Jetta, had a loaded Smith and Wesson .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun in his waistband when he was taken into custody. The handgun also had been reported as stolen. Officers searched the Jetta and found a red backpack that contained an Iver Johnson Arms .32-caliber revolver, an Arminus Titan Tiger.38-caliber revolver, and an Iver Johnson Arms .45-caliber revolver, all of which had been reported as stolen. The backpack also contained a blue Nike bag with approximately 735.7 grams of pure methamphetamine and 23.7 grams of marijuana.

Brown told investigators he purchased whole kilograms of methamphetamine every few days. Brown admitted he sold methamphetamine by the ounce and made $150 profit on each ounce sold.

Brown is among 16 defendants who have pleaded guilty in two separate indictments that resulted from this investigation.

Under the terms of today’s plea agreement, the government and Brown agree to a sentence of at least 20 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of 30 years in federal prison without parole. Brown must also pay a money judgment not to exceed $9,961,839, representing all of the proceeds obtained as a result of the drug-trafficking conspiracy. The forfeiture is based on a conservative street price of $2,300 for 226 grams (a half-pound) of methamphetamine and the total conspiracy distribution of nearly 979 kilograms (978,859 grams) of methamphetamine. 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. Attorneys Bradley K. Kavanaugh and Sean T. Foley, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Bradshaw. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department, the FBI, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, and the Mid-Missouri Drug Task Force.

Project Safe Neighborhoods

The U.S. Attorney’s Office is partnering with federal, state, and local law enforcement to specifically identify criminals responsible for significant violent crime in the Western District of Missouri. A centerpiece of this effort is Project Safe Neighborhoods, a program that brings together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make neighborhoods safer for everyone. Project Safe Neighborhoods is an evidence-based program that identifies the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develops comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, Project Safe Neighborhoods focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

Updated June 27, 2022

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking