SPRINGFIELD, Mo.-- The man involved in a large methamphetamine distribution ring across southwest Missouri admitted to trafficking 45 kilograms or 99.3 pounds of meth.
Kenneth R. Friend, 47, of Springfield, pleaded guilty Wednesday to participating in the conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Greene, Polk, Christian, Jasper, Laclede, and Webster Counties from June 2013 through November 2014.
According to the plea agreement, Friend will be sentenced to 30 years in federal prison without parole. Friend must forfeit to the government $34,310 that was seized by law enforcement and a 1992 Harley Davidson motorcycle, which Friend used to distribute methamphetamine, and which he purchased with proceeds from the sale of methamphetamine.
According to a release, Friend paid one source $20,000 in early November 2014 for two pounds of methamphetamine.
Friend also intended to purchase a large amount of methamphetamine from one of his sources on Nov. 27, 2014. As part of the investigation, law enforcement officers arrested Friend, his then-girlfriend and one of his suppliers. During the execution of a federal search warrant at the supplier’s residence in Springfield, agents found approximately $20,000 and approximately five and a half pounds of methamphetamine.
Friend admitted that he intended to purchase at least two of the five and a half pounds seized from this source of supply.
Agents also seized $34,310 from Friend, which he had intended to use to purchase the two pounds of methamphetamine.
Beginning in 2012, the Drug Enforcement Administration, assisted by other agencies, investigated one of the largest methamphetamine distribution rings in southwest Missouri. The investigation resulted in the indictment of 29 people.
18 of those have been sentenced.
(edited news release)
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