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Press Release

Webb City Man Sentenced for Meth Conspiracy

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

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Webb City, Missouri, man was sentenced in federal court today for his role in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Newton County, Missouri.

Aaron S. Sutten, 35, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to 13 years and four months in federal prison without parole.

On Oct. 16, 2019, Sutten pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Newton County from May 19 to Aug. 11, 2018.

Sutten was arrested on Aug. 11, 2018, when he met with co-defendant Shawna M. Smith, 28, of Joplin, at a local hotel. Officers contacted Sutten and Smith in the parking lot. They searched Sutten’s car and found approximately 83.66 grams of methamphetamine and 3.63 grams of black tar heroin concealed in a backpack sitting on the bench seat. They searched Smith’s car and found approximately 23.38 grams of methamphetamine and a digital scale within a purse. 

Officers searched Smith’s hotel room, which was occupied by co-defendant Kiley R. McDonald, 30, of Joplin. Officers found a large plastic bag containing approximately 146.39 grams of methamphetamine on the bed with McDonald. They also found three mobile phones, drug paraphernalia, and a wireless camera RF detector (commonly used by drug traffickers to check suspected informants for covert surveillance equipment).

Sutten is the third and final defendant to be sentenced in this case. McDonald was sentenced on Feb. 11, 2020, to eight years in federal prison without parole. Smith was sentenced on March 11, 2020, to three years in federal prison without parole.

This case was prosecuted by Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall D. Eggert and Assistant U.S. Attorney Byron H. Black. It was investigated by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the FBI, and the Joplin, Mo., Police Department.

Updated June 11, 2020

Drug Trafficking