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19 Kansas City Metro Defendants Plead Guilty to 4.3 Million Meth Conspiracy

JUN 15 (OVERLAND PARK, Kan.) ––Troy Derby, Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge (ASAC) of DEA’s Kansas City’s District Office announced on June 15, 2017, that DEA had secured 19 separate guilty pleas from Kansas City metropolitan residents resulting from a 4.3 million dollar methamphetamine distribution conspiracy.  These 19 guilty pleas were the remaining subjects originally charged in a 26 defendant indictment, all of which have now been found or pled guilty.  ASAC Derby was quoted as saying, “These guilty pleas are the result of a wide spread, community impact investigation where local law enforcement partnered with their federal counterparts to combat drug trafficking in smaller communities surrounding Kansas City.  The impact of these arrests and guilty pleas reaffirm DEA’s commitment to working with our local, county, and state law enforcement partners to combat drug traffickers no matter the size of the communities they live in.”

During the week of June 9th, 2017, 14 of these defendants pled guilty in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge John Maughmer, and the remaining 5 defendants pled guilty on June 14th, 2017, in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Larsen, all within the Western District of Missouri.  Out of the 26 total defendants, 4 have been sentenced with the remaining 21 defendants still pending sentencing. 

In 2010, the Buchanan County Drug Strike Force and the DEA initiated an investigation into a drug-trafficking organization distributing methamphetamine in northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas.  Jose Luis Ruiz-Salazar, 38, and his brother, Gabriel Ruiz-Salazar, 34, and Gregory Bullock, 48, all of Kansas City, Missouri, and Joshua Bowers, 33, of Polo, Missouri, admitted that they were the primary sources that supplied co-conspirators with large amounts of methamphetamine during the conspiracy.  Co-Conspirators then distributed the methamphetamine throughout Kansas City and Jackson County, Missouri, as well as the outline Kansas City metro counties of Clay, Ray, Clinton, and Buchanan

Investigators were able to determine that the conspirators sold an estimated $4,359,600 worth of methamphetamine and heroin from 2010 to 2015.  That estimate is based on a conservative street price of $1,200 for an ounce of 50% pure methamphetamine with the total conspiracy distribution of at least 100 kilograms of methamphetamine, and a conservative street price of $2,500 per ounce of heroin and an overall conspiracy distribution of approximately three pounds of heroin. 

Jose and Gabriel Ruiz-Salazar and Bullock each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, and are subject to a minimum of 10 years in federal prison.  Bowers pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute heroin, conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, and possessing firearms in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime.  Bowers is subject to a minimum of 15 years in federal prison. 

Marion Brammer, 53, Jason Kirtley, 44, Jackie Love, 60, William Dampbell, 36, and Steven Schreier, 32, all of Excelsior Springs, Missouri, also plead guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine charges.  Brammer and Schreier admitted and pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute more than 1500 grams of methamphetamine, and Kirtley, Love, and Campbell admitted and pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine.  

Additionally, the following individuals all pleaded guilty for their actions involved in this methamphetamine drug-trafficking conspiracy:  Bryan Carrol, 28, and Caleb Hayes, 36, both of Kansas City, Missouri; Sabrena Morgan, 40, Ryan Battagler, 38, and Elgin Dothage, 41, all of Kearney, Missouri; Paula Scott, 48, Anthony Stevenson, 45, and Rodney King, 51, all of Excelsior Springs, Missouri; Jason Davis, 43, of Liberty, Missouri; Taylor Syas, 25, of Polo, Missouri; Brian Bowers, 34, of Richmond, Missouri; Franklin Carter, 28, of Grandview, Missouri; and Jay Carder, 31, or Cowgill, Missouri.

Of those 26 indicted in this investigation, 4 individuals have been sentenced following their guilty pleas involving their roles in the conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.   They are Gary Brown, 37, of Cowgill, Missouri, sentenced to 12 years and seven months in federal prison; Ronald Roberts, 54, of Lathrop, Missouri, sentenced to 10 years and six months in federal prison; Brittney Brehm, 38, of Bland, Missouri, sentenced to 6 years and eleven months in federal prison; and Darin Berry, 51, of Excelsior Springs, Missouri, sentenced to 4 years and five months in federal prison.

This case was investigated by the DEA and the Buchanan County Drug Strike Force, as well as the Clay County Drug Task Force, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, and the Caldwell County, Missouri, Sheriff’s Department.


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