10 plead guilty in $1M meth conspiracy case

By: 
OFFICE OF THE U.S. ATTORNEY WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI

Ten defendants, including one from Lebanon, have pleaded guilty in federal court to charges related to a $1 million conspiracy to distribute at least 30 kilograms of methamphetamine.

 Travis Lee Bethel, 46, of Urbana, Mo., pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert E. Larson today to his role in the drug-trafficking conspiracy and a related money-laundering conspiracy.

 Kenneth Bryant Lake, 56, of Strafford, Mo.; Jake Ian Nixon, 20, and Scott Bryan Sands, 52, both of Springfield, Mo.; and Jerry Lee Brown, 43, of Lebanon, Mo.; also pleaded guilty this week to the drug-trafficking and money-laundering conspiracies. Nixon also pleaded guilty to possessing firearms in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime.

 Kara Rene Baze, 23, of Springfield; Breann Nicole Hall, 25, of Ozark, Mo.; Tara L. Harken, 45, of Marion, Ill.; and Cindy Ann Nevatt, 63, of Gulf Shores, Ala.; each pleaded guilty this week to crossing state lines in aid of racketeering enterprises.

 Michelle Vanne Gray, 50, of Springfield, pleaded guilty on Aug. 2, 2017, to maintaining drug-involved premises.

 Investigators with the Buchanan County Drug Strike Force, the Springfield, Mo., Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration identified Lake as the original head of the organization coordinating vehicle transport shipments of methamphetamine to Springfield for distribution, as well as shipments of cash drug proceeds out of the area. Lake and Sands also coordinated shipments of methamphetamine and drug proceeds by mail and parcel service to and from the Springfield area.

 Lake, Bethel, Sands and Brown admitted their involvement in distributing more than five kilograms of methamphetamine and collecting drug proceeds for the methamphetamine that was delivered.

For the complete article, see the Tuesday print edition of The Daily Record, or view the e-Edition online.

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The Lebanon Daily Record

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