(STL.News) – A Springfield, Missouri, man has been sentenced in federal court for his role in a conspiracy to distribute large amounts of methamphetamine.
Ronald A. Stone, 52, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Stephen R. Bough on Friday, Sept. 25, to 20 years in federal prison without parole.
On May 16, 2019, Stone pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Greene County, Missouri, from March 30 to Aug. 30, 2017. Stone also pleaded guilty to possessing methamphetamine to distribute and to possessing firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking.
Springfield police officers executed a search warrant at Stone’s residence on March 30, 2017, and seized a Hi Point 9mm semi-automatic pistol, a Crown Royal bag that contained rounds of 9mm ammunition, and 7.61 grams of methamphetamine.
Officers executed another search warrant at Stone’s residence on Aug. 19, 2017, and seized a distributive amount of methamphetamine, a loaded Taurus .39-caliber revolver, a loaded Vega .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol, and $5,661.
On Aug. 29, 2017, a confidential informant reported that Stone was preparing to travel to the Kansas City area to buy methamphetamine. DEA agents conducted surveillance of Stone as he traveled to Peculiar, Missouri, where he met an unknown man in a Denny’s parking lot. During his return trip to Springfield, Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers stopped the vehicle and conducted a search. They seized three large bags that contained a total of approximately 6.8 pounds of methamphetamine.
Stone is the second defendant to be sentenced in this case. Co-defendant Carol A. Hardy, also known as Carol A. Johnson, 51, also pleaded guilty to her role in the drug-trafficking conspiracy and was sentenced on Dec. 14, 2018, to 20 years in federal prison without parole. Law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Hardy’s residence and found 1.766 kilograms of methamphetamine in a safe on the floor of a bedroom closet.
Co-defendant Richard G. Wacker, 61, pleaded guilty to his role in the drug-trafficking conspiracy and awaits sentencing. Wacker admitted that he traveled to Kansas City on several occasions to purchase a half-pound of methamphetamine. After making two trips with Stone, according to Wacker’s plea agreement, Stone began making the trips to Kansas City without Wacker every two to three days. Stone purchased two pounds on each trip, one pound for himself and one pound for Wacker.
Two days after Stone’s arrest, Wacker drove from Kansas City to Oklahoma City, where he purchased five kilograms of methamphetamine for $45,000. Wacker admitted that he had traveled to Oklahoma City to purchase five kilograms of methamphetamine on two earlier occasions.
Wacker also admitted that he distributed pound quantities of methamphetamine to co-defendant Herbert R. Dinger, 65, of Springfield. Dinger pleaded guilty to his role in the drug-trafficking conspiracy and awaits sentencing.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nhan D. Nguyen and Josephine L. Stockard. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Springfield, Mo., Police Department.