News Release
March 14, 2006

Six Joplin Residents Sentenced for Meth Conspiracy

SPRINGFIELD, MO – Preston L. Grubbs, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration St. Louis Division Office, and Todd P. Graves, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri announced that six Joplin, Missouri residents and a California resident were sentenced in federal court today for participating in a conspiracy to distribute large quantities of methamphetamine in Jasper County, Missouri.

Sentenced in separate appearances before United States Chief District Judge Dean Whipple were Phyllis Hood, 51, of Fontana, California, to 21 years and 10 months in federal prison without parole; and Joplin residents Samuel T. Spellman, 31 (Hood’s son), to 14 years in federal prison without parole, Michael W. Burrow, 46, to 10 years in federal prison without parole, Karen D. Mitchell, 42, to 10 years and one month in federal prison without parole, Gaylon T. Ward, 35, to five years and two months in federal prison without parole, Christian L. Parry, 39, to three years and three months in federal prison without parole, and Eugene E. Lundgren, 33, to five years and 10 months in federal prison without parole.

All seven co-defendants pleaded guilty to the charge contained in a June 2, 2005, superseding indictment. They admitted that they participated in a conspiracy that involved the distribution and transportation of more than five kilograms of methamphetamine in Jasper County from at least as early as August 2001, continuing until July 2004.

Co- defendant Phyllis Hood procured large amounts of methamphetamine from her sources of supply in California, Graves explained, then mailed methamphetamine and traveled to southwest Missouri on repeated occasions to distribute the methamphetamine to co-conspirators. Those co-conspirators then redistributed the methamphetamine in southwest Missouri and wired the proceeds to California. At one point during the conspiracy, Graves added, Hood wired over $100,000 in proceeds from the sale of methamphetamine.

This case was prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly R. Weber Dean. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Jasper County Drug Task Force and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Requests for additional information should be directed to Group Supervisor Phillip A. Jacobs or Public Information Officer Special Agent Shirley Armstead at 314-538-4600.