SPRINGFIELD, Mo -- A dozen people have been indicted in a large-scale Springfield meth distribution ring.
Court documents say the alleged ringleaders - Donald Taylor, 33, and Christopher Jefferson, 45 - frequently traveled to Arizona, Texas and California "to facilitate the importation of methamphetamine to the Springfield area."
The indictment, which was filed on Jan. 23, accuses Taylor, Jefferson and 10 others of conspiring to distribute at least 500 grams of meth in Springfield between December 2014 and January 2018.
Taylor, Jefferson and four other suspects have also been charged with conspiring to distribute large amounts of heroin during that time frame.
The indictment does not provide many details of the federal investigation. It mostly lists dates over the last two years when suspects allegedly possessed or distributed drugs.
Court documents say one of the suspects, 59-year-old L.C. Lee, sold meth to an undercover officer six times during the investigation.
Lee is also accused of possessing a .380-caliber pistol in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
Indicted in the meth conspiracy are Taylor; Jefferson; Lee; Jami Deam, 33; David Scott, 48; Kathy Alexander, 62; James Chalk, 28; Amber Brake, 27; Shawn Robinson, 47; Davetta Hicks, 30; Cornell Braxton, 26; and Jennifer Turner, 22.
Taylor, Jefferson, Lee, Scott, Alexander and Brake were also indicted on the conspiracy to distribute heroin charge.
The meth conspiracy charge carries a possible life sentence, and the heroin conspiracy charge carries a possible 40-year sentence.
None of the suspects in what prosecutors called a "major illegal drug organization" have been convicted.
Attorney Branden Twibell, who represents Turner, said his client denies any involvement in a conspiracy to distribute meth.
"We are in the process of collecting and reviewing evidence and look forward to dealing with these charges in federal court," Twibell said.
The other defense attorneys listed in online court records either declined to comment or could not be reached on Monday afternoon.
(Story shared by Springfield News-Leader. Read the original article here.)
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