A woman from Halfway pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday, Oct. 31, to her role in a conspiracy to distribute large amounts of methamphetamine in Springfield.
According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney Western District, Ginger L. Huerta, also known as Ginger L. Gray, 39, of Halfway, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush to participating in the drug-trafficking conspiracy from Nov. 22, 2016, to Sept. 26, 2018.
She also pleaded guilty to participating in a money-laundering conspiracy, the release said.
Another defendant, Cassidy R. Clayton, 24, of Springfield, pleaded guilty to the same charges in a separate hearing Thursday.
By pleading guilty, Huerta and Clayton “admitted they received methamphetamine directly from the same source, whom they said transported approximately 10 pounds of methamphetamine per week by vehicle from California to the Springfield area,” the release said.
They then distributed the methamphetamine to other mid-level dealers in the conspiracy.
Huerta and Clayton also “admitted they wired the proceeds of drug trafficking on to members of the drug-trafficking organization who resided in California and Mexico,” the release said.
The release said Huerta admitted she delivered around a quarter pound of methamphetamine per week from July to December 2017.
Huerta was arrested following a traffic stop on Dec. 5, 2017, the release said.
When law enforcement searched her vehicle, they “found a digital scale containing methamphetamine residue, a metal pipe with burnt marijuana, a small open corner bag with methamphetamine residue, a bag containing methamphetamine residue inside a sunglasses case and two .38-caliber revolvers inside the glove compartment,” the release said.
The firearms were identified as a Charter Arms .38-caliber revolver and a Taurus .38-caliber revolver with an obliterated serial number.
Huerta and Clayton are among seven defendants who have pleaded guilty in this case, including Lonnie J. Tinker, 33, and Laurie B. Holmes, 37, both of Springfield; Lloyd R. Bradley, 42, of Fordland; Shelby R. Maupin, 31, of Ozark; and Summerlee M. Barnett, also known as Summerlee M. Lacount, 33, of Salem.
Under federal statutes, Huerta and Clayton are each subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison without parole and up to a sentence of life in federal prison without parole. The release said sentencing hearings will be scheduled after the completion of presentence investigations by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nhan D. Nguyen and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica R. Keller, the release said. It was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Springfield Police Department, the Greene County Sheriff’s Office, the Dade County Sheriff’s Office and the Oldham County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office.