Missouri man pleads guilty to interstate marijuana trafficking conspiracy
FRESNO, Calif. — Halen Steven Patrick Frazier, 33, of Lone Jack, Missouri, entered a guilty plea to conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana, which was shipped from California to Kansas City, Drug Enforcement Administration San Francisco Division Special Agent in Charge Chris Nielsen and U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.
According to court documents, in November 2018 Frazier’s co-defendants Patrick Maldonado of Madera; Elias Zambrano, Jr., of Fresno; Tan Minh Vo of San Jose; David Agustus McGowan of Kansas City; and Tien Van Phan coordinated the shipment of about 476 pounds of marijuana to Frazier in Kansas City. The first shipment was seized from Frazier during a traffic stop after Vo’s courier, Phan, made delivery to him. Another load was intercepted by Arizona troopers after stopping McGowan for a broken taillight on his truck. During a search of the trailer, troopers found a hidden compartment with 384 pounds of marijuana, 78 pounds of THC-laced edibles, and $1,629 in cash.
Frazier is scheduled to be sentenced on December 9 by U.S. District Judge Dale A. Drozd. Frazier faces a maximum statutory penalty of 40 years in prison, a minimum statutory penalty of five years in prison, and a $5 million fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
The other defendants are scheduled for a status conference in federal court in Fresno on November 12. The charges are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Central Valley High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force consisting of agents from the DEA; Homeland Security Investigations; Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Sheriff’s Offices of Tulare, Kings, and Fresno Counties; Fresno Police Department; Arizona Department of Health; and Kansas City Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Escobar is prosecuting the case.