Two West Plains men sentenced to more than 10 years each for meth distribution

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo.- Two West Plains men were federally sentenced Friday for their involvement in meth distribution in several counties in the Ozarks.

According to a press release from the Acting United States Attorney Teresa Moore, 59-year-old Benny Griffin and 26-year-old Jordan Gutierrez were sentenced separately in federal court. Judge Stephen Bough sentenced Griffin to 15 years in prison without parole and sentenced Gutierrez to 12 years and six months in prison without parole.

In March, the two men pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Howell, Greene, and Texas counties from Dec. 31, 2015, to June 21, 2019.

According to a press release, in 2018, officers searched Griffin’s home. Officers found 1.947 grams of pure meth in his pocket. While searching his property, they found more meth, bags of marijuana, surveillance equipment and $16,098.

Griffin told police he got the meth a few days earlier from 40-year-old Fontella Noose. Griffin and Noose got the meth from Oklahoma, and Griffin provided all the money for the meth. He told police Noose owed him $9,000 for her pound and another pound she had kept on a previous transaction.

Noose pleaded guilty for her involvement in March and was sentenced to 20 years.

Authorities arrested Gutierrez in 2018 while returning from Oklahoma and was stopped at a truck stop in Cabool. Gutierrez had 70.63 grams of meth with him. Gutierrez told police he got the meth from 63-year-old Shirley Hicks of West Plains.

For more on Hicks’ involvement in this case, click here.

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