SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– 45-year-old William F. Jones of Fair Grove, Missouri pleaded guilty Thursday (05/21/20) to participating in a drug-trafficking operation that spanned a number of counties.
According to the office of Federal District Attorney Timothy Garrison, “Jones was identified as a mid-level member of the Southwest Honkys prison gang.” The drug-trafficking plan Jones pleaded guilty to having some part in was expected to take place in Christian, Greene, and Polk Counties between December 21, 2016, and October 15, 2017.
Garrison’s Office says Jones drove to Independence, Missouri in the fall of 2017. There, while being monitored by law enforcement surveillance, Jones checked into a hotel, met a man in the parking lot, and placed a large duffel bag in the cab of the man’s truck.
That man, 32-year-old Justin L. Rhoads of Lebanon, Missouri, was later pulled over by Missouri State Highway Patrol. During the stop, a trooper searched Rhoads’ vehicle and found the duffel bag. Inside the duffel were 10 plastic bags, each containing methamphetamine. All total, MSHP says the contents of the bag equaled 9,439 grams (or about 20 lbs.) of meth.
Rhoads pleaded guilty in December of 2019.
Garrison’s Office says both men involved in the hand off are set to face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison without parole.