A woman from Halfway and 13 other southern Missouri residents have been indicted by a federal grand jury for their roles in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in the area.
According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney Western District, Ginger L. Huerta, also known as Ginger L. Gray, 39, of Halfway was part of the 23-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Springfield Wednesday, June 12.
Others charged in the case include Cheyenne W. Conn, 43, and Johnathon W. Arnold, also known as Jonathan, 38, both of Everton; Laurie B. Holmes, 37, Jeremy A. Ingram, 40, Tresha R. Ahart, 29, Megan L. McNary, 25, Cassidy R. Clayton, 23, Lonnie J. Tinker, 33, and Larry E. Stapp, 39, all of Springfield; Shelby R. Maupin, 30, of Ozark; Summerlee M. Barnett, also known as Summerlee M. Lacount, 33, of Salem; Lloyd R. Bradley, 42, of Fordland; and Chandler B. Roberts, 20, address unknown.
Polk County cases
Huerta currently has a number of active cases in Polk County Circuit Court.
In November 2018, she was charged with class A felony first-degree assault — serious injury or special victim, felony armed criminal action and class E felony unlawful use of a weapon — subsection 4.
Huerta, who the probable cause said believed a woman was “trying to have sex with her boyfriend,” allegedly stabbed the victim six times while she was asleep in bed on Oct. 18. Huerta’s boyfriend, known only as “Kool-aid,” was in the room when the stabbing occurred.
The victim said Huerta “stabbed her in the head with the knife and used such force that she bent the knife on her skull,” according to the statement.
The statement said the deepest stab wound, which investigators said looked infected, “was deep enough it likely should have had stitches.”
She was arrested in March and held on $250,000 bond, according to online court records.
Huerta entered a not guilty plea and waived her formal arraignment in a Polk County courtroom on Monday, June 17.
Also this month, a jury trial was scheduled for two of Huerta’s other Polk County cases.
She is set to face a jury of her peers in the No. 1 and No. 2 settings on Oct. 24-25, with 30th Circuit Judge Michael O'Brien Hendrickson presiding, court records state.
Her charges include four counts class D felony possession of controlled substance and class E felony unlawful use of a weapon.
Huerta was one of eight local residents arrested and charged in a March 2018 burglary bust after a month-long investigation by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, according to previous coverage.
Prosecuting Attorney Ken Ashlock said federal agents have not asked his office to dismiss current Polk County cases, "but did want her in their custody.”
"We will not be dismissing at this point but will watch to see what she gets in the federal system, then evaluate what we want to do," he said.
The federal indictment alleges that all of the defendants participated in a conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine in Greene County and other locations from Nov. 22, 2016, to Sept. 26, 2018.
In addition to the conspiracy, Arnold, Holmes, Stapp and Bradley are charged in separate counts related to the possession and distribution of methamphetamine, the release said.
Five of the defendants — Conn, Ingram, Ahart, Roberts and Tinker — were also charged with illegally possessing firearms.
Conn faces two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm, the release said.
The indictment alleges that Conn was in possession of a Lorcin .22-caliber semi-automatic pistol on Nov. 22, 2016, and in possession of a Ruger 9mm semi-automatic pistol on Sept. 22, 2017.
He has two prior felony convictions for stealing and prior felony convictions for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a controlled substance and resisting arrest, the release said.
The release said Ingram is also charged with two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
He allegedly had a Springfield Armory 9mm semi-automatic pistol in his possession on Sept. 22, 2017, and a Springfield Armory .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol on May 10, 2018.
Ingram has three prior felony convictions for possession of a controlled substance and prior felony convictions for robbery and tampering with a motor vehicle.
He is also charged with one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking offense and five counts related to the distribution of methamphetamine.
Ahart faces one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, the release said.
The indictment alleges Ahart was in possession of a Charter Arms .38-caliber revolver and a Taurus .38-caliber revolver with an obliterated serial number on Dec. 5, 2017.
She has prior felony convictions for possessing a controlled substance and failure to return rental property.
The release said Roberts is also charged with one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime.
The indictment alleges Roberts had a Mossberg .22-caliber semi-automatic pistol in his possession on Jan. 23, 2018, in furtherance of the drug-trafficking conspiracy and possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute, for which he is charged in two additional counts of the indictment.
He is also charged with two counts of being an unlawful user of a controlled substance while in possession of a firearm.
The indictment alleges that, in addition to the Mossberg pistol, Roberts was in possession of a J.C. Higgins .22-caliber semi-automatic rifle with no serial number on Feb. 26, 2018.
The release said Tinker is also charged with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
The indictment says Tinker was in possession of a Tanfoglio .22-caliber revolver on Feb. 14, 2018. He has prior felony convictions for fraudulent use of a credit/debit card and stealing.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nhan D. Nguyen and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica R. Keller.
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, the release said.
This case is part of the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force program.
The OCDETF program is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s drug supply reduction strategy, the release said.
“OCDETF was established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multilevel attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations,” the release said. “Today, OCDETF combines the resources and expertise of its member federal agencies in cooperation with state and local law enforcement.”
The release said the principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illicit drug supply.