Aurora, Mo., man pleads guilty in methamphetamine case
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (Edited News Release/KY3) - An Aurora, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court to his role in a conspiracy to distribute large amounts of methamphetamine in Barry County, Mo.
Brian E. Hall, 45, pleaded guilty before U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge David P. Rush to one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, and one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime.
By pleading guilty today, Hall admitted he participated in the drug-trafficking conspiracy from Nov. 1, 2020, to April 28, 2022.
During the investigation, law enforcement officers seized multiple kilograms of methamphetamine from various members of the drug-trafficking organization, including Hall. Hall admitted that he was distributing large amounts of methamphetamine in the southwest Missouri region. Hall also admitted he has traveled to Arizona and Oklahoma numerous times to purchase 20 to 50 pounds of methamphetamine at a time and bring it back to Missouri.
A confidential informant assisted in the controlled buy of 413 grams (approximately one pound) of methamphetamine from Hall on June 16, 2021, for $1,400. A confidential informant assisted in the controlled buy of 431.27 grams of methamphetamine from Hall on June 22, 2021, for $3,500.
Investigators also interviewed a property owner who was involved in an owner-financed sale of a house and storage units to Hall for $10,000 per month, paid in cash. The property owner was aware that Hall sold methamphetamine and did not have the legitimate income to purchase the properties. Hall met the property owner in February and in March 2022 to make the $10,000 payments, which were relinquished to the government.
On April 28, 2022, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Hall’s residence. Officers seized seven pounds of methamphetamine, a stolen Taurus 9mm semi-automatic pistol that was found underneath Hall’s bed, approximately $57,000 in cash found inside a safe, and drug paraphernalia used for the packaging and sale of methamphetamine. Under the terms of today’s plea agreement, Hall must forfeit the $57,000 to the government.
Hall told investigators he was expecting a large delivery of methamphetamine that evening and that he planned to give the courier the $57,000. At approximately 10 p.m., a black Toyota Camry arrived at Hall’s residence. The driver and a passenger were immediately arrested, and officers seized approximately 22 pounds (10 kilograms) of methamphetamine.
Under federal statutes, Hall is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of life in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
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 Combined Ozark Multi-jurisdictional Enforcement Team (COMET), the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, the Barry County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Ozarks Drug Enforcement Team, the Stone County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Greene County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Bolivar, Mo., Police Department, the Cassville, Mo., Police Department, the Kimberling City, Mo., Police Department, and the Springfield, Mo., Police Department.
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