Drug Enforcement Administration

St. Louis

William J. Callahan, Special Agent in Charge

July 10, 2017

Contact: SA Doug Dorley

Phone Number: (314) 538-4600

11 Year Prison Sentence For California To Missouri Methamphetamine Distributors

OVERLAND, Kan. - -Troy Derby, Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge of DEA’s Kansas City District Office, announced today that Michael Ford, 38, of Springfield, Missouri and Lisa Thompson, 39, of Springfield, Missouri were sentenced for their part in a California to Missouri methamphetamine distribution conspiracy.

On July 7, 2017, US District Court Judge Roseann Ketchmark sentenced Ford to 11 years in federal prison for his role in the offense, while Thompson received a sentenced of 11 years and 3 months in prison for her role. Two additional co-defendants, John Waits, 46, of Springfield, Missouri, and Romulo Delatorre, 36, of Downey, California, have also pled guilty to their roles in this conspiracy and are awaiting sentencing. In addition to pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute meth, Ford also pled guilty to possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime.

ASAC Derby stated that “These drug dealers did all they could to evade law enforcement while selling poison to our communities. DEA is proud work with our other federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to ensure that we do all that we can to keep our communities safe from the violence and crime drug dealers seek to introduce into our neighborhoods.”

Investigators identified that Delatorre was shipping meth from California to Springfield, Missouri, in two to two-and-a-half-pound increments, which Thompson picked up when they were delivered to her at various hotels in the Springfield area. Once Thompson had received the meth, Ford would pick up the meth from her and distribute it.  Once Ford had distributed the meth, he met back up with Thompson to provide her the money he had collected, which she then sent to Delatorre as payment. 

Thompson admitted to investigators that she received approximately 24 pounds of meth from Delatorre, which she had provided to Ford for sale. Thompson also admitted she had kept some of the meth she had received and sold it directly to other customers she knew of, with Waits assistance. Waits participated in selling meth with Thompson, and also sold meth to an undercover agent on several occasions in June and July 2015. Waits was ultimately found responsible for distributing a minimum of 12 pounds of meth.

After Thompson was arrested by law enforcement on September 11, 2015, Ford began receiving meth shipments directly from Delatorre. On September 30, 2015, the Springfield Police Department received a phone call from a FedEx employee about a suspicious package.  Officers responded and discovered a 2.2 pound package of meth, addressed to Ford, at a residence Ford was later arrested at. During Ford’s arrest, he was carrying a Ruger .22-caliber pistol.

This case was investigated by the DEA and the Springfield, Missouri Police Department.

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