Ozark Man Sentenced to 15 Years for Meth Conspiracy
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that three south Missouri residents were sentenced in federal court today for their roles in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.
Noe Moreno-Malagon, 36, a citizen of Mexico residing in Ozark, Mo., Rita J. Vera, 35, of Monett, Mo., and Paul E. Allen, 58, of Purdy, Mo., were sentenced in separate appearances before U.S. Chief District Judge Greg Kays. Moreno-Malagon was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison without parole, which must be served consecutively to his prison sentence in an unrelated state case. Moreno-Malagon must also forfeit to the government $32,000 and four firearms (with miscellaneous ammunition) that were seized by law enforcement officers.
Vera was sentenced to five years in federal prison without parole. Allen was sentenced to seven years in federal prison without parole.
On Nov. 15, 2013, Moreno-Malagon pleaded guilty to leading a multi-pound methamphetamine conspiracy operating in the Springfield area but also covering Polk, Christian and Taney Counties. The case began when couriers were intercepted in New Mexico and Texas with 4-kilogram loads of methamphetamine. The couriers indicated that the methamphetamine was going to Springfield. The federal investigation included controlled buys and additional seizures of methamphetamine, firearms and cash.
On Dec. 3, 2012, a search warrant was executed in Morrisville, Mo. During the search, DEA agents located 338.1 grams of pure methamphetamine, as well as a handgun and a rifle. The DEA also conducted a search at a Springfield residence believed to be a stash house for the organization. At that location, agents found 123.6 grams of pure methamphetamine.
Moreno-Malagon supplied Vera and Allen with methamphetamine. On Feb. 13, 2012, federal law enforcement agents seized 362 grams of pure methamphetamine from Allen in Ozark, Mo. Additionally, on June 22, 2012, 224.4 grams of pure methamphetamine was seized from another co-defendant. In addition to the seizures, two controlled buys were made on March 27, 2012 and April 12, 2012. In March, 125.1 grams of pure methamphetamine was purchased, and in April, 117.5 grams of pure methamphetamine was purchased.
On Sept. 3, 2013, Allen pleaded guilty to his role in the drug-trafficking conspiracy. Vera pleaded guilty to her role in the conspiracy on June 20, 2013.This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gary Milligan. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, IRS-Criminal Investigation, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Missouri State Highway Patrol, and task force officers from the Greene County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Christian County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Ozark, Mo., Police Department, the Springfield, Mo., Police Department, the South Central Drug Task Force and COMET (the Combined Ozarks Multijurisdictional Enforcement Team).