Drug Enforcement Administration

St. Louis

William J. Callahan, Special Agent in Charge

May 31, 2017

Contact: SA John Leonard

Phone Number: 314-538-4600

Two Springfield, Missouri, Men Sentenced To 20 Years In Prison For Methamphetamine Conspiracy

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - -Troy Derby, Assistant Special Agent-in-(ASAC) of DEA’s Kansas City’s District Office announced on May 31, 2017, that DEA had secured 20 year prison sentences for two men residing in the Springfield, Missouri, area.  Anthony J. Van Pelt, 38, or Springfield, Missouri, was sentenced to 21 years in prison without parole.  Brandon A. House, 33, of Ash Grove, Missouri, was sentenced to 20 years in prison without parole.  Both individuals were convicted and sentenced for their part in a conspiracy to distribute large quantities of methamphetamine. 

Beginning in 2012 the DEA, assisted by other agencies, investigated one of the largest methamphetamine distribution rings in southwest Missouri.  That investigation resulted in the indictment of 28 co-defendants, to include Anthony Van Pelt and Brandon House.  In announcing the sentencings, ASAC Derby said, “The sentences handed down today are a reminder of how deadly and toxic methamphetamine is to our communities.  DEA is committed to serving our communities, and will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to investigate drug traffickers who seek to bring in these dangerous and toxic substances into our community.”

Investigators uncovered that in 2013 through 2014, Daniel and Kenna Harmon, 38, of Republic, Mo., distributed in excess of 45 kilograms of methamphetamine in southwest Missouri. Van Pelt was one of the sources that provided methamphetamine to the Harmon drug-trafficking organization during this time. Kenna Harmon also obtained methamphetamine from other sources and provided distributive amounts to Van Pelt and to House, who was a mid-level distributor.

Van Pelt was arrested on Nov. 27, 2014, when he was found hiding under the bed in his residence during the execution of a search warrant. Van Pelt had been identified earlier in the day as the driver of a Ford Mustang parked in the driveway of Kenna Harmon’s residence. Police officers followed Van Pelt when he drove away from Kenna Harmon’s residence and conducted a traffic stop, but Van Pelt fled from the vehicle. Officers found $23,663 inside the vehicle.

When law enforcement officers executed the search warrant at Van Pelt’s residence later the same day, they found four rifles and numerous rounds of ammunition in the same bedroom where Van Pelt was hiding. Officers also found approximately 405 grams of methamphetamine, marijuana, and $3,990 in a hidden safe by the bedroom. An additional 36 grams of methamphetamine was seized out of the bedroom. Agents found a duffel bag in the garage of the residence that contained approximately 20 pounds of marijuana and 1,066 grams of (a total of approximately 1.5 kilograms of methamphetamine).

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.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Randall D. Eggert, Nhan D. Nguyen and Cynthia J. Hyde, of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, IRS-Criminal Investigation, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Springfield, Mo., Police Department and Immigration and Customs Enforcement'(ICE) Homeland Security (HSI).

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