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Press Release

Two Columbia Men, Phoenix Man Charged in Multi-Pound Meth Conspiracy

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

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that two Columbia, Mo., men and a Phoenix, Ariz., man were charged in federal court today, in separate but related cases, for their roles in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine after law enforcement officers seized several pounds of methamphetamine from the defendants during an investigation yesterday.


Ryan Roger Ellingboe, 40, and Shane Alan Callahan, 29, both of Columbia, and Todd Michael Zazilenski, 43, of Phoenix, were charged in separate criminal complaints filed in the U.S. District Court in Jefferson City, Mo. All three of the defendants remain in federal custody pending a detention hearing.


Ellingboe, Callahan and Zazilenski are each charged with participating in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Boone County and elsewhere from April 2015 to May 14, 2015. Zazilenski is also charged with possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute.


According to an affidavit filed in support of the federal criminal complaint, a deputy with the St. Charles County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department stopped a Cadillac Escalade driven by Ellingboe for a traffic violation on Thursday, May 14, 2015. Callahan was a passenger in the vehicle. The deputy smelled burnt marijuana upon approaching the vehicle, the affidavit says, and conducted a search of the vehicle. The deputy found a vacuum-sealed bag that contained approximately one pound of methamphetamine behind the glove box.


Ellingboe and Callahan told law enforcement officers they had traveled from Columbia that morning to meet a customer in St. Charles who wanted to purchase the methamphetamine. According to the affidavit, Ellingboe told officers he had acquired the methamphetamine from a man who was staying at the Howard Johnson Inn in Columbia. He was driving a Chevrolet Malibu with Arizona license plates, the affidavit says.


Law enforcement officers located the Malibu in the hotel’s parking lot and conducted surveillance until Zazilenski came to get into the car at approximately 11:15 a.m. the same day. Officers searched Zazilenksi’s hotel room and found three bags, each containing approximately one pound of methamphetamine, for a total weight of 1.369 kilograms.


According to the affidavit, Zazilenski told officers that he expected Ellingboe to return later in the day to pay him $8,000 for the methamphetamine that he had taken to sell in St. Charles. Zazilenski also told officers that he had provided an additional 1.5 pounds of methamphetamine to Ellingboe during a visit to Columbia on April 17-19, 2015.


Dickinson cautioned that the charges contained in these complaints are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.


These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Larry Miller. They were investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Columbia, Mo., Police Department and the St. Charles County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department.

Updated May 15, 2015

Drug Trafficking