Meth Distributors Sentenced to Prison and Forfeiture of Earnings
Shipped Meth Concealed Inside a Fire Extinguisher, Laundered Money
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Two men have been sentenced in federal court for their roles in a conspiracy to distribute large amounts of methamphetamine in the Springfield, Mo., area.
Christian Roman, 39, of Springfield, and Nathan Bay, 49, of Bois D’Arc, Mo., were sentenced in separate hearings before U.S. District Judge Stephen R. Bough on Tuesday, April 18. Roman was sentenced to 21 years and eight months in federal prison without parole and ordered to forfeit to the government $143,000, which represents his proceeds from the drug-trafficking conspiracy. Bay was sentenced to 13 years and four months in federal prison without parole and ordered to forfeit to the government $42,291, which represents his proceeds from the drug-trafficking conspiracy.
Roman pleaded guilty on Oct. 4, 2022, to one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Bay pleaded guilty on Sept. 6, 2022, to one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and one count of distributing methamphetamine.
During the federal investigation, law enforcement seized multiple kilograms of methamphetamine from various members of the drug-trafficking organization. Roman distributed multiple pounds of methamphetamine at a time to others below him in the drug hierarchy and collected drug proceeds. According to court documents, Roman supplied Bay with methamphetamine to distribute.
Roman also orchestrated sending large amounts of methamphetamine through the mail from California for distribution in Missouri. Roman admitted that he coordinated with a law enforcement confidential source to arrange for a package that contained more than 1.3 kilograms of pure methamphetamine, concealed inside a fire extinguisher, to be mailed to that source’s residence.
According to court documents, Roman also coordinated the distribution of, and payment for, multiple illegal drug sales across the United States, including methamphetamine, fentanyl, and marijuana. In February 2021, law enforcement intercepted communications wherein Roman coordinated the distribution of approximately 1,428 pounds of marijuana to a man in Wisconsin. That marijuana was seized by law enforcement.
Roman admitted that he participated in the drug-trafficking conspiracy from Oct. 1, 2019, to Feb. 19, 2021. Roman also admitted, during that time, that he participated in a conspiracy to transfer funds from the United States to Mexico to promote the drug-trafficking conspiracy. Roman admitted that he made multiple large cash deposits into his checking account, which involved proceeds from the drug-trafficking conspiracy, then sent several wire transfers to Mexico.
Roman, who was on probation at the time of this offense, admitted that he was in possession of a Colt .38-caliber handgun on Feb. 19, 2021. Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Roman has a prior felony conviction for importing marijuana after he smuggled 38 kilograms of marijuana from Mexico into the United States. Roman also has prior felony convictions for concealing a firearm in a vehicle and taking a vehicle without consent.
On Feb. 19, 2021, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Roman’s residence. Officers found numerous unused U.S. Postal Service boxes piled in the hallway closet. In the master bedroom, officers found a safe that contained expensive jewelry, $4,640 in cash, and the Colt handgun. The firearm’s handgrips were covered in white stones with an emblem of two stacked traffic cones designed out of black, orange, and white stones. The emblem matched a tattoo of two stacked traffic cones on the right side of Roman’s face. Officers also seized a Romarm/Cugir 7.62-caliber rifle, a German Sports Gun 9mm semi-automatic pistol, a Grand Power 9mm semi-automatic pistol, and some ammunition from a storage unit.
Roman and Bay are among 11 defendants who have been sentenced in this case. Two co-defendants have pleaded guilty and await sentencing.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Springfield, Mo., Police Department, and the Greene County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department.
Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force
This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.