SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Kansas City, Missouri, man was sentenced in federal court today for managing a conspiracy to distribute multiple pounds of methamphetamine in the Springfield, Missouri area.
Donald R. Taylor, also known as “Dee,” 35, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to 15 years in federal prison without parole.
On Dec. 17, 2018, Taylor pleaded guilty to participating in a drug-trafficking conspiracy that lasted from Dec. 2, 2014, to Jan. 23, 2018. During the course of the investigation, law enforcement officers seized a total of 5.342 kilograms of methamphetamine from various co-conspirators.
Women were frequently used to transport illegal drugs during the conspiracy, including large quantities of methamphetamine in vehicles and smaller quantities of cocaine and heroin hidden on their person. They were paid to drive to Texas, Arizona, or California to pick up methamphetamine and other drugs and transport them back to Springfield. Several women admitted they made multiple trips to acquire illegal drugs, sometimes in multi-kilogram quantities.
On one occasion, Taylor admitted, he flew to Arizona to deliver a large amount of cash to co-conspirators in order to purchase methamphetamine. Taylor attached a package that contained four pounds of methamphetamine onto a Chevrolet Avalanche near the gas tank, which co-conspirators drove back to Springfield. However, Arizona law enforcement officers stopped the vehicle and discovered the hidden methamphetamine.
Taylor is among seven co-defendants who have been sentenced in this case. Five co-defendants have pleaded guilty and await sentencing.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Abram McGull II. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Springfield, Mo., Police Department, and COMET (the Combined Ozarks Multijurisdictional Enforcement Team).