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West Plains: Two Men Sentenced for Drug Trafficking

HOWELL COUNTY, Mo. -- Two men have been sentenced for drug trafficking in Howell County. The two men were sentenced in federal court Thursday, December 12th, for conspiracy to distribute both marijuana and methamphetamine. Both men have previous felony convictions and were also in possession of firearms, which is illegal under federal law.
HOWELL COUNTY, Mo. -- Two men have been sentenced for drug trafficking in Howell County. The two men were sentenced in federal court Thursday, December 12th, for conspiracy to distribute both marijuana and methamphetamine. Both men have previous felony convictions and were also in possession of firearms, which is illegal under federal law.

The two men are Joseph R. Ledwa, 63, and David L. Collins, 38, both men are from Howell County.

Ledwa pleaded guilty in May of this year to the charges of trafficking methamphetamine and marijuana as well as possession of a firearm. Ledwa admitted that he was in possession of ammunition and a firearm to protect himself while distributing the drugs.

Joseph Ledwa was sentenced to 15 years in a federal prison without the possibility of parole. In addition to jail time Ledwa must forfeit $43,871 as well as 10 firearms and other ammunition to the government, all of which were seized during the investigation.

According to the District Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, Collins also pleaded guilty to his role in the drug-trafficking conspiracy, to being a felon in possession of a firearm and to possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime.

Collins said he initially received about 3.5 grams of methamphetamine from Lewda to distribute then began to receive larger amounts to distribute over time.

Collins was sentenced to eight years and four months in federal prison without parole and must forfeit two rifles to the government that were seized by law enforcement officers during the investigation. Collins also received marijuana to distribute.

David Collins was sentenced to eight years and four months in federal prison without the possibility of parole, he must also forfeit two rifles that were seized during the investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall D. Eggert prosecuted the case.

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the South Central Drug Task Force, the Howell County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department, and the Grandview, Mo, Police Department, according to a release from Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri.

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