Local Crime News

18 Indicted for Meth Conspiracy in Southwest Missouri

18 Agencies collaborated in investigation leading to seizure of 29 pounds of Meth. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office Western District of Missouri, Eighteen defendant have been indicted by a federal grand jury for their roles in a conspiracy to distribute large amounts of methamphetamine.

In May of 2022, three people were initially charged:

Brian E. Hall, 45, of Aurora, MO

Jacqueline Aldrete Bojorquez, 28, of Broken Arrow, OK

Jeffrey L. Hughley, 37 of Tulsa, OK.

On July 13, fifteen additional defendants were charged:

Christopher Blevins, 37, Fairview, MO

Lawrence Gwinup, 43, Cassville, MO

Jennifer Childers, 38, Boliver, MO

Anthony Cooper, 39, Boliver, MO

Joseph Piunti, 54, Boliver, MO

Guy Winchester, 55, Shell Knob, MO

Kimberly Elliott, 42, Reeds, MO

Cody Ezell, 39, Hollister, MO

Charles Mierisch, 49, Cole Camp, MO

Kenneth Cole, Jr., 61, Independence, MO

Edward Uribe, 34

Joseph Gilbert, 39, Phoenix, AZ

Joel Rodriguez, 39, Phoenix, AZ

Shawna Bartman, 49, Phoenix, AZ

Coreena Velasco, 29, Tulsa, OK

Guy Winchester was taken into custody by the US Marshals on September 13th, 2022

Each of the Eighteen defendants have been charged with participating in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Barry, Stone, Polk, Lawrence, Green, Jasper, and Newton Counties, and elsewhere, from November 2020 to April 2022.

According to court documents, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Hall’s residence on April 28, 2022, as part of an ongoing methamphetamine investigation. Officers seized seven pounds of methamphetamine, a Taurus 9mm semi-automatic pistol, approximately $57,000 in cash, and drug paraphernalia used for the packaging and sale of methamphetamine.

When Bojorquez and Hughley arrived at Hall’s residence later that night, they were taken into custody as well. Officers searched their vehicle and found approximately 22 pounds of methamphetamine in the trunk and a Taurus 9mm semi-automatic pistol in the floorboard of the front passenger seat.

In addition to the drug-trafficking conspiracy, Cole, Cooper, Childers, Elliott, Rodriguez, Mierisch, Bartman, Hall, Winchester, Gwinup, Gilbert, Bojorquez, and Hughley are charged in 18 counts related to the distribution of methamphetamine. Piunti is charged with two counts relating to the distribution of methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of the Elmwood Park playground in Bolivar. Mierisch is also charged with one count of possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute on a premises where a minor was present or resides.

Hall is also charged with one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Hall allegedly possessed a Taurus 9mm semi-automatic pistol on April 28, 2022.

Bartman is also charged with one count of being a felon in possession of firearms. Bartman allegedly possessed a Hi-Point .45-caliber pistol and a Tanfoglio 9mm pistol on May 19, 2021.

Blevins is also charged with one count of possessing firearms in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime and one count of being a felon in possession of firearms. Blevins allegedly possessed a Taurus 9mm pistol and a Ruger 9mm pistol on April 4, 2022.

Gwinup is also charged with one count of possessing firearms in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime. Gwinup allegedly possessed a Smith & Wesson SD40 on April 9, 2022.

Bojorquez and Hughley are charged together in one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime. They allegedly possessed a Taurus 9mm semi-automatic pistol on April 28, 2022.

Hall is also charged with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Uribe, Velasco, Bojorquez, and Hughley are charged together in a separate count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Elliott and Blevins are each charged with one count of money laundering.

Uribe and Velasco are charged in two counts each with the unlawful use of a telephone to facilitate the drug-trafficking conspiracy.

The charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

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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