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Auto repairman sentenced for role in drug ring

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A Springfield man was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison without parole last week for leading a conspiracy to distribute more than 5,300 kilograms of methamphetamine.

Christopher A. Jefferson, 46, who owned a car repair business, was sentenced June 26 by U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool as a career offender, according to a news release from the office of Tim Garrison, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri. Jefferson had two prior state convictions for distribution/delivery of a controlled substance.

U.S. attorney spokesman Don Ledford said Jefferson’s business was not registered with the Missouri secretary of state’s office, and he reportedly operated it out of his home.

Jefferson pleaded guilty Oct. 25, 2018, to his role in the drug-trafficking conspiracy that resulted in law enforcement seizing 5,342 kilograms of methamphetamine from several co-conspirators. His involvement in the conspiracy lasted from Dec. 2, 2016, to Jan. 23, 2018, according to the release.

Women allegedly were often used to transport large quantities of methamphetamine in vehicles and smaller quantities of cocaine and heroin hidden inside their bodies.

The co-conspirators were paid to drive to Arizona, California or Texas to pick up the drugs and bring them back to Springfield. According to the release, several women admitted to making multiple trips to acquire the drugs.

Co-defendant Kathy J. Alexander, 62, of Springfield, was arrested while driving through Amarillo, Texas, on Jan. 11, 2016, with a half-pound of heroin and six pounds of methamphetamine that she was transporting from Arizona to Springfield. Alexander admitted she had made 14 drug-transporting excursions for which she was paid $500 per trip. Alexander pleaded guilty in August 2018 and was sentenced to seven years in federal prison without parole.

Two other co-defendants, Davetta F. Hicks, 31, and Shawn B. Robinson, 48, both of Springfield, were arrested on Dec. 9, 2014, by Kingsville, Texas, police officers and pleaded guilty for their roles in the drug ring. Hicks was sentenced to five years and 10 months, and Robinson received six years, both in federal prison and without parole.

Undercover law enforcement officers also purchased methamphetamine from Jefferson’s distributors, according to the release. The officers in six separate purchases bought 115 grams of methamphetamine, all of which was supplied by Jefferson.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Abram McGull II is prosecuting the case. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Springfield Police Department, and the Combined Ozarks Multijurisdictional Enforcement Team.

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