Drug Enforcement Administration

St. Louis

William J. Callahan, Special Agent in Charge

March 22, 2018

Contact: SA John Leonard

Phone Number: 314-538-4600

OCDETF Case Nets 30 Year Prison Sentence For Meth Dealer

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Jay Forster, Resident Agent in Charge of the DEA office in Springfield, Missouri, today announced that Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task (OCDETF) operation “Cash Cab” resulted in a 30 year prison sentence for the leader of this drug trafficking (DTO). Patrick Brigaudin, 55, of Springfield, Missouri, was sentenced to 30 years in prison following his plea of guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine by U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool for the U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri. In addition to Brigaudin’s sentence, two of his co-conspirators involved in his DTO received lengthy prison sentences. Co-defendant William Eft, 67, of Springfield, Missouri, and Gayla Phillips, 42, of Willard, Missouri, received sentences of six years and three years respectively.

“Methamphetamine is a poison that destroys our communities,” Resident Agent in Charge Jay Forster said. “Cases like the one announced today, worked in connection with the OCDETF program, allows us the ability to divert more resources to investigations that impact our neighborhoods. We are extremely thankful for our state and local partners who worked with us on this case, and for their daily efforts to make our neighborhoods and communities a better place to live.”

Brigaudin, Eft, and Phillips all had previously pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine among other charges. The case involving this DTO detailed the lives of individuals who made a living off of drug trafficking. Brigaudin was involved in, or attempted to possess for sale, multiple kilograms of methamphetamine from October of 2013 through February of 2016. Investigative documents revealed a shipment of 15 pounds of pure methamphetamine seized by law enforcement in 2015, as well as approximately 12 pounds of methamphetamine and six pounds of heroin seized in 2016. Brigaudin admitted he attempted to possess some or all of those drugs seized.

Brigaudin was found by the court to make a living as a leader of this DTO. Even though Brigaudin was employed as a taxi driver, investigators detailed how he hardly ever picked up fares for his taxi. Financial investigators further found that Brigaudin lost tens of thousands of dollars at casinos, paid the mortgage of his residence, as well as purchasing a 2006 Lincoln Mark LT truck with his drug proceeds.

Brigaudin, Eft, and Phillips are one of four individuals sentenced in this case to date. Eleven other co-defendants in this case have pled guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

This case was investigated by the DEA, the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, the Springfield, Mo., Police Department, the Missouri Highway State Patrol, the Ozark, Mo., Police Department, the Green County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, and the Combined Ozark Multijurisdictional Enforcement (COMET) and the South Central Drug Task Force.

This investigation was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Missouri.

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