SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - A federal grand jury recently indicted eight people from Springfield, two people from Willard, and five people from out of the state for their roles in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Greene County. The 37-count indictment replaces a previous indictment against several people in this group, and adds more charges and more defendants.
This case shows how, in recent years, a network of people delivers most of the meth consumed in Springfield from Mexico and the southwestern United States.
The indicted people are Patrick Brigaudin, 54; Timothy Hall, 55; Jennifer Minor, 41; Amber Vantuyl, 35; Gary Driggers, 64; William Eft, 66; Leah Binney, 55; and William Watts, 58, all of Springfield; Gayla Phillips, 41; and Richard Sherwood, 58, both of Willard; Adrian Ortiz-Corrales, 41, and Eduardo Diaz, 52, both of Las Vegas, Nev., and Carlos Luna, 42, Federico Herrera-Preciado, 51, and Maria Zetina-Ortega, 28, all who have no known address.
According to affidavits used as the basis of the charges, law enforcement officers in Texas intercepted a shipment of approximately 15 pounds of meth, of which nine pounds was allegedly being delivered to Brigaudin, in March 2015. Brigaudin was arrested with Hall, Diaz and Ortiz-Corrales last Feb. 29 when law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at his home at 1720 E. McDaniel St. in Springfield. The raid and arrests followed a two-and-a-half year investigation.
According to the affidavits, Diaz and Ortiz-Corrales were in the garage and were in the process of accessing a hidden compartment underneath the bed of a 1994 Dodge pickup. Officers arrested Brigaudin as he tried to flee out the back door of his home. Officers found about 12 pounds of meth and 6.5 pounds of heroin inside the truck’s hidden compartment. While officers were at Brigaudin’s home, Hall arrived on a motorcycle, and was arrested.
The federal indictment alleges that all of the defendants participated in conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Greene County from October 2013 to Feb. 29, 2016. The federal indictment also alleges that Brigaudin, Ortiz-Corrales, Phillips, Luna, Herrera-Preciado and Zetina-Ortega participated in a money-laundering conspiracy during that time by conspiring to conduct financial transactions that involved the proceeds of illegal drug trafficking.
Ortiz-Corrales and Diaz are also charged together in one count of possessing one kilogram or more of heroin with the intent to distribute. Investigators believe Ortiz-Corrales came to Springfield at least three times this year for "drug-related business" with Brigaudin. They say Ortiz-Corrales and Brigaudin went to banks in Springfield and money in quantities just below amounts that would trigger mandatory reporting requirements from the banks.
Investigators believe Diaz crossed the U.S. - Mexico border at border control checkpoints at least nine times between mid-2015 and March of this year.
In addition to the drug-trafficking and money-laundering conspiracies, Brigaudin is charged with four counts of distributing methamphetamine and one count of attempting to possess methamphetamine with the intent to distribute. Brigaudin, Ortiz-Corrales and Diaz are charged together in one count of possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute.
Brigaudin and Phillips are charged together in one count of money laundering. Ortiz-Corrales and Luna are charged together in two counts of money laundering. Ortiz-Corrales and Herrera-Preciado are charged together in two counts of money laundering. Ortiz-Corrales, Herrera-Preciado and Zetina-Ortega are charged together in two counts of money laundering.
Vantuyl, Hall, Binney, Eft and Sherwood are each also charged with one count of possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute.
Minor is also charged with two counts of distributing methamphetamine. Phillips is charged with one count of distributing methamphetamine.
Driggers is also charged with four counts of using a telephone to facilitate the drug-trafficking conspiracy. Binney is charged with two counts of using a telephone to facilitate the drug-trafficking conspiracy. Minor, Eft, Hall, Phillips, Watts and Sherwood are each charged with one count of using a telephone to facilitate the drug-trafficking conspiracy.
Watts is also charged with maintaining a premises that he made available for unlawfully storing, distributing, and using methamphetamine.
The indictment also contains forfeiture allegations that would require Brigaudin to forfeit to the government any property derived from the proceeds of the alleged drug-trafficking conspiracy, including $5,603, a 2006 Lincoln Mark LT and a 1998 Harley Davidson motorcycle, all of which were seized by law enforcement officers. A forfeiture allegation would require Phillips to forfeit $18,000, which was seized by law enforcement officers. A forfeiture allegation would require Ortiz-Corrales to forfeit $880 that was seized by law enforcement officers.
Documents previously filed in court said Brigaudin liked to spend time at Downstream Casino in Quapaw, Okla. Between January 2009 and April 2015, officers found out, he put more than $10 million into its slot machines and gained $8.4 million in winnings.
The Drug Enforcement Administration, IRS-Criminal Investigation, Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Springfield Police Department, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Ozark Police Department, the Greene County Sheriff’s Department, the COMET (Combined Ozarks Multijurisdictional Enforcement Team) Task Force and the South Central Drug Task Force all worked together on this case.