Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Galena man whose 20-year prison sentence was commuted by President Obama pleads guilty to new meth trafficking charge
Judge David P. Rush ordered a presentence investigation for Carroll Flowers, 68. No date has been set for the sentencing.
Grand jury indictment for Flowers and his co-defendant, Melissa A. Lowry, 43, Joplin, were unsealed January 15.
Flowers' crimes were detailed in the plea agreement filed today in U. S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri.
On December 6, 2017, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent (SA) Stacy Moore and FBI Task Force Officer Chad Comer met with a confidential informant (CI) regarding the methamphetamine distribution activities of LOWRY.
The CI stated that he or she had previously purchased methamphetamine from LOWRY and could purchase an ounce of methamphetamine from her.
Based upon the CI’s statements, SA Moore arranged for a controlled buy of methamphetamine from LOWRY. Before the controlled buy, SA Moore searched the CI’s vehicle and person for contraband with negative results.
SA Moore then handed the CI $700 in U.S. currency and outfitted him or her with a recording device. SA Moore followed the CI to LOWRY’s residence, located at on West 4th Street, in Jasper County, within the Western District of Missouri.
SA Moore observed the CI enter LOWRY’s residence. Approximately 32 minutes later, Ozarks Drug Enforcement Team (ODET) Detective Joe Houdyshell observed the CI exit the residence and enter his or her vehicle. ODET Detective Dave Abbott followed the CI as he or she traveled to a predetermined location.
At the predetermined location, the CI handed SA Moore $375 in U.S. currency and approximately a half of an ounce of methamphetamine. The CI stated that LOWRY only had a half of an ounce to sell, however, LOWRY would be obtaining more methamphetamine possibly that day. The CI and his or her vehicle were again searched for contraband with negative results.
On the same date, ODET Detective Matt Walker, based upon the controlled buy of methamphetamine from LOWRY, applied for and received a State of Missouri search warrant for LOWRY’s residence.
On December 13, 2017, before the execution of the search warrant, SA Moore, accompanied by members of ODET, conducted surveillance of LOWRY’s residence.
SA Moore observed LOWRY exit the residence and enter a Dodge Caliber. SA Moore followed the Dodge Caliber and observed LOWRY travel to the Discount Smokes Shop, then to the Dollar General, and finally to the residence of FLOWERS, located on Highway 166, in Baxter Springs, Kansas.
After approximately an hour, Detective Houdyshell observed the Dodge Caliber leaving the residence followed by a Chevrolet Tahoe.
Both vehicles traveled directly back to LOWRY’s residence. Once the vehicles arrived, LOWRY exited the Dodge Caliber and FLOWERS exited the driver’s side of the Chevrolet Tahoe.
Both LOWRY and FLOWERS began to walk towards the residence. Members of ODET converged upon the residence to execute the search warrant.
Detective Walker searched FLOWERS and found $2,731 in U.S. currency and 83.1 grams of pure methamphetamine, a distributive amount, inside three small bags.
During a search of the LOWRY’s residence, in the only bedroom, inside a compartment in the dresser, Detective Walker found a black-zipped pouch that contained approximately 14 grams of methamphetamine, a digital scale, and unused baggies.
The grand jury indictment was unsealed just four days prior to the two-year anniversary of President Obama's commutation of Flowers' 20-year sentence for meth trafficking.
According to the White House news release, Flowers was convicted June 19, 2002, of conspiracy to manufacture or distribute more than one kilogram of methamphetamine.
Under the terms of the commutation, the Federal Bureau of Prisons released Flowers on May 19, 2017.