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Press Release

Kentucky Man Pleads Guilty to Meth Conspiracy

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

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tom Larson, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kentucky man pleaded guilty in federal court today to his role in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine after law enforcement officers in Lafayette County, Mo., found more than 4 kilograms of methamphetamine hidden in his vehicle.

Kenneth W. Dowell, 48, of Waynesburg, Ken., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Brian C. Wimes to the charge contained in a June 10, 2015, federal indictment. Dowell remains in federal custody pending his sentencing hearing, which has not yet been scheduled.

Dowell was the passenger in a 2004 Toyota 4Runner stopped near the H Highway exit ramp on Interstate 70 by a Lafayette County sheriff’s deputy for traffic violations on May 19, 2015. The deputy noted that Dowell and the driver of the vehicle appeared to be nervous and provided conflicting information when questioned separately.

When the driver declined to consent to a search of the vehicle, the deputy requested that a K-9 officer from the Higginsville, Mo., police department respond to conduct a K-9 sniff of the exterior of the vehicle. The K-9 gave a positive alert, indicating the presence of a controlled substance. Officers examined a spare tire that was located under a blanket and found 10 gallon-sized plastic bags that contained a total of 4,458 grams of methamphetamine inside a blue bag in the tire. Officers also found 3.4 grams of methamphetamine in a cigarette box in Dowell’s jacket.

Officers located a rubber-banded bundle of $100 bills totaling $2,900 under the front passenger seat. Wilson also had $1,622 in his possession.

Under federal statutes, Dowell 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. It was investigated by the Lafayette County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Updated September 18, 2017

Drug Trafficking