Wednesday, September 14, 2016
California residents sentenced for Joplin-area meth conspiracy
A man and woman from Barstow, Calif., have been sentenced in federal court for their roles in a conspiracy to possess methamphetamine with the intent to distribute in the Joplin, Mo., area.
Jason Jonathan Olsson, 33, of Barstow, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to 15 years and eight months in federal prison without parole. Co-defendant Jasmine Regina Bereki, 26, of Barstow, was sentenced on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016, to 10 years in federal prison without parole.
Olsson and Bereki each pleaded guilty in May 2016 to participating in a conspiracy to possess methamphetamine with the intent to distribute.
The investigation began in August 2015 when members of the Ozark Drug Enforcement Team received information that Olsson – who was staying at a hotel in Joplin – was receiving shipments of methamphetamine from either California or Arizona in sealed cans. Agents also received information that Olsson was sending large amounts of cash to California once or twice a week.
Olsson sent money orders to California from Harp’s grocery store in Carl Junction, Mo., on Aug. 19, 2015. Law enforcement officers stopped his vehicle after he left the store. A K-9 alerted to the presence of narcotics in Olsson’s vehicle. Officers searched the vehicle and found a black bag that contained seven baggies of methamphetamine with a total weight of approximately 186 grams. They also found money gram receipts totaling approximately $12,000.
Officers learned that Bereki, who rented the room where Olsson had been staying at the Comfort Inn in Joplin, had just left the hotel in a taxi. The taxi had taken Bereki to a Motel 6 in Joplin, and law enforcement officers contacted her outside the motel’s office. When officers searched Bereki’s motel room they found an RG 23 .22-caliber handgun in her luggage.
Law enforcement officers learned that Olsson and Bereki had a storage unit in Webb City, Mo. Officers searched the storage unit and found a black bag that contained three brass-colored cans. The cans contained 34 one-ounce bags of methamphetamine, totaling more than one kilogram. Officers also found a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun and a Cobray Uzi M-11. They found numerous receipts for money orders, ranging from $500 to $2,501.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Abram McGull II. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Jasper County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department and the Joplin, Mo., Police Department.