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Justice News

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

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Two More Sentenced for Large-Scale Meth Conspiracy

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Two more members of a large-scale conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Greene County, Mo., were sentenced in federal court today.

Eduardo Diaz, 53, of Las Vegas, Nev., and Amber Vantuyl, 36, of Springfield, Mo., were sentenced by U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool. Diaz was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison without parole. Vantuyl was sentenced to seven years and 10 months in federal prison without parole.

Both Diaz and Vantuyl pleaded guilty participating in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. In total, the quantity of pure methamphetamine involved in the conspiracy, which lasted from October 2013 to Feb. 29, 2016, weighed in excess of 4.5 kilograms. The methamphetamine distributed during the conspiracy, according to court documents, primarily originated from Mexico and was smuggled to Missouri.

According to court documents, a steady stream of purchasers came to the home of the conspiracy’s leader, Patrick R. Brigaudin, 55, of Springfield, to purchase methamphetamine from him, or to deliver methamphetamine to him. On Feb. 29, 2016, Diaz transported approximately 12 pounds (5.4 kilograms) of methamphetamine and six pounds of heroin to Brigaudin’s residence. When he arrived in Missouri, Diaz picked up co-defendant Adrian Ortiz-Corrales, 43, also of Las Vegas, and they traveled together to Brigaudin’s residence to deliver the methamphetamine and heroin. While they were removing the methamphetamine from a vehicle, they and Brigaudin were arrested.

Vantuyl admitted that she possessed methamphetamine, which she had obtained from Brigaudin, and some or all of which she intended to distribute to another person.

Brigaudin was sentenced on March 21, 2018, to 30 years in federal prison without parole after pleading guilty to his role in the drug-trafficking conspiracy and to a related money-laundering conspiracy. Ortiz-Corrales also pleaded guilty to the drug-trafficking conspiracy and is scheduled to be sentenced on Tuesday, April 10, 2018.

Seven defendants have been sentenced in this case. Richard Todd Sherwood, 59, of Willard, Mo., was sentenced on March 27, 2018, to eight years and 10 months in federal prison without parole. Jennifer Minor, 42, of Springfield, was sentenced on March 14, 2018, to seven years and 10 months in federal prison without parole. William Frank Eft, 67, of Springfield was sentenced on March 21, 2018, to six years in federal prison without parole. Co-defendant Gayla Rochelle Phillips, 42, of Willard, Mo., was sentenced on March 21, 2018, to three years in federal prison without parole. 

Eight co-defendants have pleaded guilty and await sentencing.

This case is being prosecuted by United States Attorney Timothy A. Garrison and Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall Eggert. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, IRS-Criminal Investigation, the Springfield, Mo., Police Department, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Ozark, Mo., Police Department, the Greene County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, COMET (the Combined Ozarks Multijurisdictional Enforcement Team) and the South Central Drug Task Force.

Drug Trafficking
Updated April 4, 2018