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DEA-Led Investigation Results in Sentencing of Two in Major Missouri Methamphetamine Trafficking Operation

JUN 30 (OVERLAND PARK, Kan.) –– Troy Derby, Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge of DEA’s Kansas City District Office, announced today that David Miller, 40, of Springfield, Missouri., and Corey A. Stienbarger, 27, of Nixa, Missouri were sentenced to prison by U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool for their part in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in which 28 were indicted. Miller was sentenced to 11 years and six months in federal prison without parole. Stienbarger was sentenced to four years and four months in federal prison without parole.

Beginning in 2012, the DEA, with the assistance of other agencies, investigated one of the largest methamphetamine distribution rings in southwest Missouri. The investigation resulted in the indictment of 28 co-defendants.  Miller and Stienbarger were part of this distribution ring. Both had previously pled guilty to participating in the conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine from June 1, 2013, through November 29, 2014.

David Miller

In 2013 through 2014, Daniel and Kenna Harmon, 38, of Republic, Missouri distributed in excess of 45 kilograms of methamphetamine in southwest Missouri and provided distribution amounts of methamphetamine to Miller and others. During the investigation law enforcement seized a total of 1.2 kilograms of methamphetamine from Miller.

When law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Hot Shot Motors in Rogersville, Missouri on March 5, 2014, which was owned by Jonathan Heredia, Heredia and Miller, an employee of Hot Shot Motors, were present. Inside the business, officers discovered approximately 75.59 grams of methamphetamine contained in various plastic bags inside Heredia’s desk in his office. Officers also found a .40-caliber Smith and Wesson handgun under his desk and $48,757 in his office.

Officers also found approximately 518 grams of methamphetamine inside a bathroom shower at the business. Both Heredia and Miller told investigators that methamphetamine belonged to Miller, who had purchased it earlier in the day from Kenna Harmon.

Law enforcement officers then executed a search warrant at Miller’s residence on April 7, 2014. Agents found approximately 569 grams of methamphetamine, 31 grams of crack cocaine, 28.2 grams of heroin, 34 grams of unknown white pills, 63 grams of marijuana and 48.7 grams of mushrooms. Officers also found a drug ledger type notebook, two digital scales, smoking pipes, other types of drug paraphernalia, cell phones and $10,937.

Miller admitted that he had been obtaining methamphetamine from the Harmons for about a year prior to his arrest. Beginning in the late summer of 2013, Miller received one to two pounds of methamphetamine every few days from the Harmons. Miller paid over $15,000 per pound for the methamphetamine.

Miller was then stopped by law enforcement officers on February 9, 2015. During the stop, officers searched his vehicle and found 146 grams of methamphetamine in six separate baggies, 31 grams of marijuana, and a glass pipe.

Corey A. Stienbarger

Stienbarger’s role in the conspiracy was to distribute methamphetamine that he obtained from co-defendant Anthony J. Van Pelt, 38, of Springfield. Van Pelt also provided methamphetamine to Kenna Harmon. On August 19, 2014 Stienbarger, under Van Pelt’s direction, distributed approximately 450 grams of methamphetamine in Springfield, Missouri to a person who had traveled from St. Louis.

Kenna Harmon was arrested in November 2014. Agents searched various residences and vehicles belonging to Kenna Harmon and her co-conspirators and seized approximately five kilograms of methamphetamine and approximately $128,674. Kenna Harmon has pleaded guilty to being a leader in the drug-trafficking conspiracy as well as a money-laundering conspiracy and to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Daniel Harmon was indicted in the Eastern District of Missouri and pleaded guilty to possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute and to being a felon in possession of a firearm. Following his arrest and incarceration, Kenna Harmon continued to lead the drug-trafficking organization.

Van Pelt was sentenced on May 31, 2017, to 21 years in federal prison without parole. Heredia pleaded guilty in a separate case and was sentenced on March 8, 2016, to four years in federal prison without parole.

This investigation was conducted by the DEA, IRS-Criminal Investigation, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Springfield, Missouri Police Department, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).  This case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Missouri.


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