Drug Enforcement Administration

St. Louis

William J. Callahan, Special Agent in Charge

September 01, 2017

Contact: SA Doug Dorley

Phone Number: (314) 538-4600

Houston Man Sentenced To 15 Years For His Part In For One Of The Largest Meth Distribution Rings In Southwest Missouri

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - - Troy Derby, Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge of DEA’s Kansas City District Office, today announced that Robert Canales, 34, of Houston, Texas, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for his part in a 28 person conspiracy involved in distributing meth in southwest Missouri.

“This was one of the largest, and most prolific, drug trafficking organization ever investigated in southwest Missouri,” Assistant Special Agent Derby said. “The community should be proud of the local, state, and federal law enforcement officers who worked tirelessly to get these violent criminals off of the streets and out of our communities.” 

Robert Canales was sentenced in the United States District Court, Western District of Missouri, for his part in a methamphetamine conspiracy spanning over several years. Canales was sentenced as a career offender due to his prior convictions for (in which he threatened the victim with a firearm), and possession with intent to deliver cocaine. 

Canales assisted co-defendant Nelson (a.k.a. Diego), 27, of Rosenberg, Texas, who was responsible for supplying at least 45 kilograms of methamphetamine into the communities in southwest Missouri. On December 22, 2014, Canales and a co-defendant were arrested while they were attempting to distribute a half pound of meth to a residence in Springfield, Missouri. The occupant of that residence was either so confused or high on drugs that he called the police to report that Canales and his co-defendant were trying to rob him. Police showed up and arrested Canales and the co-defendant after they were discovered in a vehicle, still at the scene, after a probable cause search of that vehicle located approximately 222 grams of meth. 

Several other co-defendants have already been sentenced in this investigation, as well as multiple co-defendants having already pled guilty to charges and are pending sentencing.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation Division, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Springfield, Missouri, Police Department and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. This was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Missouri.

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