Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Tulsa man sentenced to 10 years for role in meth conspiracy in Jasper, Newton counties, SW MO

(From the U. S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri)

A Tulsa, Oklahoma, man was sentenced in federal court today for his role in a conspiracy to distribute large amounts of methamphetamine in southwest Missouri after law enforcement officers seized approximately 29 pounds of methamphetamine, approximately $57,000, and several firearms.

Jeffrey L. Hughley, 39, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to 10 years in federal prison without parole.

On Nov. 6, 2023, Hughley pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime.

Hughley admitted that he was a courier during the conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Barry, Stone, Polk, Lawrence, Greene, Jasper, Newton, and Christian Counties from Nov. 1, 2020, to April 28, 2022. Hughley delivered more than 4.5 kilograms of pure methamphetamine to co-defendant Brian E. Hall, 46, of Aurora, Mo.

Hughley was arrested on April 28, 2022, when he drove to Hall’s residence. Law enforcement officers searched his black Toyota Camry and found 10 garbage bags in the trunk that contained a total of 22 pounds of pure methamphetamine. Officers also found a loaded Taurus 9mm semi-automatic pistol in the floorboard of the front passenger seat.

Hughley was arrested after law enforcement officers had executed a search warrant at Hall’s residence as part of an ongoing methamphetamine investigation. Officers seized seven pounds of methamphetamine from Hall’s residence, as well as a Taurus 9mm semi-automatic pistol, approximately $57,000 in cash, and drug paraphernalia used for the packaging and sale of methamphetamine.

A co-conspirator told investigators that Hughley had delivered large quantities of methamphetamine to Hall’s residence on at least four occasions. Each time he dropped off methamphetamine, he also picked up cash from Hall to return to an individual in Oklahoma. The co-conspirator told investigators that Hughley was supposed to pick up $57,000 from Hall on the night of his arrest.

According to court documents, Hughley made multiple trips to multiple states to distribute methamphetamine for which he was paid thousands of dollars. In April 2022, Hughley purchased a drone for $5,730 for a leader of the drug-trafficking organization. Hughley and a co-conspirator discussed using the drone to smuggle contraband into a prison facility.

Hughley operated a business, God’s Gifted Athletes, where he provided strength training to young athletes in his community. The government’s sentencing memorandum noted the devastating impact of methamphetamine use on youth and families. According to the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare, children whose parents use methamphetamine have an increased risk of exposure to parental violence, placement into foster care, and living in environments that do not have adequate resources to meet their basic needs.

The amount of methamphetamine Hughley trafficked to Barry County in only four trips (while in possession of a firearm) was enough to supply four doses (0.25 grams per dose) of methamphetamine to every man, woman, and child in the community.

Hughley is the second defendant sentenced in this federal indictment, in which 20 defendants have been charged. Hall pleaded guilty on March 22, 2023, and awaits sentencing.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica R. Eatmon. It was investigated by the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the FBI, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Ozarks Drug Enforcement Team, the Barry County, Mo., Sheriff’s Office, the Stone County, Mo., Sheriff’s Office, COMET (the Combined Ozark Multi-Jurisdictional Enforcement Team), the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, the Greene County, Mo., Sheriff’s Office, the Polk County, Mo., Sheriff’s Office, the Ottawa County, Ok., Sheriff’s Department, the Bolivar, Mo., Police Department, the Cassville, Mo., Police Department, the Kimberling City, Mo., Police Department, the Springfield, Mo., Police Department, and the U.S. Marshals Service.

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