Judge sentences Springfield man to 15 years for meth trafficking, illegal firearms

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A federal judge sentenced a Springfield, Mo., man Tuesday for drug trafficking and illegally possessing firearms.

Steven S. Price, 31, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to 15 years in federal prison without parole. The court ordered this federal sentence to be served consecutively to an unrelated state conviction.

On Nov. 8, 2018, Price pleaded guilty to possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute and to possessing firearms in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime.

On Jan. 17, 2018, Springfield police officers executed a search warrant at Price’s residence after receiving information that he was distributing large quantities of methamphetamine. They found seven ounces (approximately 198 grams) of methamphetamine and $6,202 inside a backpack on the floor next to where Price was sitting. Price also had $910 in the pocket of the backpack. Officers also searched Price’s vehicle, a 2000 GMC Sierra, and found a Smith and Wesson .40-caliber pistol, a Beretta .380-caliber pistol, and 49 ounces (approximately 1.389 kilograms) of methamphetamine behind the driver’s door panel.

According to court documents, Price has accumulated over 20 criminal convictions since his involvement with the criminal justice system began in 2005. Price has been convicted several times for possessing controlled substances, as well as stealing, passing a bad check, possession of marijuana, possession of narcotic paraphernalia, and numerous traffic offenses. While on supervision for his various offenses, Price accumulated over 40 violations, including one for possession of contraband while incarcerated.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Byron H. Black. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Springfield, Mo., Police Department.

Project Safe Neighborhoods
The U.S. Attorney’s Office is partnering with federal, state, and local law enforcement to specifically identify criminals responsible for significant violent crime in the Western District of Missouri. A centerpiece of this effort is Project Safe Neighborhoods, a program that brings together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make neighborhoods safer for everyone. Project Safe Neighborhoods is an evidence-based program that identifies the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develops comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, Project Safe Neighborhoods focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.