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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 8, 2018

Kearney Man Sentenced to 20 Years for $4.3 Million Meth, Heroin Conspiracy

Excelsior Springs Man Sentenced to 12 Years

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Timothy A. Garrison, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that two more defendants were sentenced today for their roles in a $4.3 million conspiracy to distribute large quantities of methamphetamine and heroin throughout Jackson, Clay, Ray, Clinton and Buchanan counties.

Elgin Eugene Dothage, also known as “Butch,” 41, of Kearney, Mo., and Jason Lee Kirtley, 45, of Excelsior Springs, Mo., were sentenced in separate appearances before U.S. Chief District Judge Greg Kays. Dothage was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison without parole. The court ordered today’s sentence to be served consecutively to a nine-year sentence for his conviction in an unrelated state case. Kirtley was sentenced to 12 years and 11 months in federal prison without parole and ordered to forfeit to the government $28,800, which represents the proceeds of drug trafficking.

On June 9, 2017, Dothage pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime and maintaining a drug premises. Kirtley pleaded guilty on June 14, 2017, to his role in the drug-trafficking conspiracy.

In 2010, the Buchanan County Drug Strike Force and the DEA initiated an investigation into a drug-trafficking organization distributing methamphetamine in northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas. Jose Luis Ruiz-Salazar, 39, his brother, Gabriel Ruiz-Salazar, 35, and Gregory Bullock, 48, all of Kansas City, Mo., have pleaded guilty to being the primary sources that supplied co-conspirators with large amounts of methamphetamine during the conspiracy. Co-conspirators then distributed the methamphetamine throughout Jackson, Clay, Ray, Clinton and Buchanan counties in Missouri.

Gabriel Ruiz-Salazar was sentenced to 15 years and eight months in federal prison without parole. Jose Ruiz-Salazar and Bullock await sentencing.

According to court documents, conspirators sold $4,359,600 worth of methamphetamine and heroin from 2010 to 2015. That estimate is based on a conservative street price of $1,200 for an ounce of 50 percent pure methamphetamine and the total conspiracy distribution of at least 100 kilograms of methamphetamine, and a conservative street price of $2,500 per ounce of heroin and an overall conspiracy distribution of approximately three pounds.

Dothage is responsible for the distribution of more than five kilograms of methamphetamine. Dothage admitted that he carried firearms in furtherance of the drug-trafficking conspiracy, including a 9mm Hi Point pistol and a Smith & Wesson .22-caliber pistol. Dothage also admitted that he used his residence for storing, distributing or using methamphetamine.

According to court documents, Kirtley is responsible for the distribution of 680.4 grams of methamphetamine.

Dothage and Kirtley are among 18 co-defendants who have been sentenced after pleading guilty to their roles in the conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. 

Jason Daniel Davis, 44, of Liberty, Mo., was sentenced to 15 years and eight months in federal prison without parole. Jackie R. Love, 60, of Excelsior Springs, was sentenced to six years and three months in federal prison without parole. Anthony Ray Stevenson, 46, of Excelsior Springs, was sentenced to 22 years and six months in federal prison without parole. Taylor Lee Syas, 25, of Polo, Mo., was sentenced to eight years and four months in federal prison without parole. Paula Rae Scott, 48, of Excelsior Springs, four years and 11 months in federal prison without parole. Bryan D. Carroll, 29, of Kansas City, Mo., was sentenced to six years and six months in federal prison without parole. Ryan A. Battagler, 39, of Kearney, Mo., was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison without parole. Franklin Charles Carter, also known as “Frankie,” 28, of Grandview, Mo., was sentenced to eight years in federal prison without parole. Marion Eugene Brammer, 53, of Excelsior Springs, was sentenced to six years and three months in federal prison without parole.

Brian Michael Bowers, 35, of Richmond, Mo., was sentenced to 12 years and six months in federal prison without parole. Gary Dewayne Brown, 37, of Cowgill, was sentenced to 12 years and seven months in federal prison without parole. Ronald Louis Roberts, 54, of Lathrop, Mo., was sentenced to 10 years and six months in federal prison without parole. Brittney James Brehm, 39, of Bland, Mo., was sentenced to six years and 11 months in federal prison without parole. Rodney Earl King, 52, of Excelsior Springs, was sentenced to five years and two months in federal prison without parole. Darin Gene Berry, 52, of Excelsior Springs, was sentenced to four years and five months in federal prison without parole.

Eight co-defendants have pleaded guilty and await sentencing. In addition to Jose Ruiz-Salazar and Bullock, co-defendants Steven Lee Schreier, Jr., 33, and William Dean Campbell, 37, both of Excelsior Springs; Joshua Keith Bowers, 34, of Polo; Sabrena Lynn Morgan, 40, of Kearney; and Caleb Dean Hayes, 36, of Kansas City, Mo., are among 26 defendants indicted in this case who have pleaded guilty.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Bruce Rhoades, Bradley K. Kavanaugh and Matt Moeder. It was investigated by the Clay County Drug Task Force, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Caldwell County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Buchanan County Drug Strike Force and the DEA.
 

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Updated February 8, 2018