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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, October 17, 2022

Lebanon Man Sentenced to 20 Years for Meth Conspiracy

Crashed Vehicle, Resisted Arrest and Fled from Officer

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Lebanon, Mo., man who crashed his vehicle and resisted arrest was sentenced in federal court today for his role in a methamphetamine conspiracy in Newton and Greene counties.

Douglas S. Ward, 34, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to 20 years in federal prison without parole.

On March 3, 2022, Ward pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Co-defendants William D. Johnson, 47, address unknown, and Joshua T. Davenport, 41, of Miami, Oklahoma, have also pleaded guilty and await sentencing.

Ward admitted that he received methamphetamine and distributed it to others during the conspiracy, which lasted from May 20 to Sept. 28, 2019. Johnson obtained large amounts of methamphetamine from a source in California and distributed it to others, including Davenport.

Ward was arrested after he crashed the car he was driving on June 18, 2019. A Jasper County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department transport officer was traveling eastbound on Missouri 96 near Route UU in Lawrence County, Mo., when Ward’s vehicle passed him, forcing another vehicle in the opposite lane off the roadway. As the officer attempted to catch up to him, Ward turned right onto County Road 1085 but missed the intersection. Ward’s vehicle traveled off the roadway and overturned.

Ward punched out the driver’s side window and crawled out of the vehicle. A man and a woman crawled out from the passenger’s side, and the officer ordered all three of them to stay down. Ward, however, reached into his pocket and pulled out a large plastic bag that contained 88.01 grams of methamphetamine, which he threw on the ground, then took off running.

The officer caught up to Ward but Ward resisted arrest. Ward was able to get away when the woman from his vehicle came up behind the officer and grabbed him. A Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper who came to assist the officer eventually apprehended Ward, who was hiding in the grass.

According to court documents, Ward told officers in June 2019 that he had been getting one pound of methamphetamine per day from his source since getting out of prison in December 2018. He also admitted that, for four weeks prior to his arrest, he had obtained two pounds of methamphetamine per week for $4,000 per pound.

Ward has a prior state felony conviction for drug trafficking. Ward also has a prior conviction for domestic violence for an incident in which he picked up his girlfriend, slammed her on the floor, picked her up again, and threw her on the couch. When the victim’s 2-year-old daughter came into the room, he yelled at the child. The victim told him not to yell at her daughter, at which point he grabbed the victim from behind and began to choke her and hit her in the face. Ward has another assault conviction for an incident that occurred while he was incarcerated and attacked another inmate.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica R. Eatmon. It was investigated by the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Newton County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Joplin, Mo., Police Department, the Jasper County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Springfield, Mo., Police Department, the Apache County, Arizona, Sheriff’s Department, the Ozarks Drug Enforcement Team, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the FBI.

Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force

This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Updated October 17, 2022