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Press Release

Springfield Man Pleads Guilty to Meth, Illegal Firearms

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Missouri

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Springfield, Missouri, man pleaded guilty in federal court today to illegally possessing firearms and methamphetamine to distribute.

Jacob Winterhawk Ryder, 38, pleaded guilty before U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge David P. Rush to one count of possessing methamphetamine to distribute and one count of possessing firearms in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime.

Springfield police officers noticed suspicious behavior and approached Ryder, the driver of a Ford Ranger that was parked beside another vehicle in a parking lot, on Jan. 21, 2016. When it appeared as if Ryder was attempting to conceal something underneath the front seat, an officer directed him to step out of his vehicle. The officer saw a live round for a 9mm handgun lying on the driver’s seat. 

Police officers searched Ryder’s vehicle and found a loaded Walther .380-caliber semi-automatic pistol underneath the armrest, a loaded New England Firearms 20-gauge sawed-off shotgun under the driver’s seat, and more ammunition. Officers also found a black cloth bag with four Ziploc baggies that contained a total of 63.93 grams of pure methamphetamine, a Ziploc baggie that contained 17.8 grams of pure methamphetamine, a Rubbermaid container that contained 297.6 grams of pure methamphetamine, two LSD tabs, a Ziploc baggie containing mushrooms, a Ziploc baggie with unknown pills, and $1,175.

Under federal statutes, Ryder is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 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 Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica R. Keller. It was investigated by the Springfield, Mo., Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. 

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 March 9, 2020

Drug Trafficking
Project Safe Neighborhoods