Nixa man pleads guilty to distributing meth in southwest Missouri

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NIXA, Mo. – A Nixa, Missouri, man pleaded guilty today for distributing methamphetamine he received in the mail from California.

Jerry D. Thornton, 46, pleaded guilty to his role in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

Thornton admitted that he received multiple pounds of methamphetamine through the mail from a source in California from December 8th, 2018, to February 5th, 2019.

He then distributed the methamphetamine to others in southwest Missouri. Thornton received and distributed at least 11.34 kilograms of methamphetamine.

A confidential source told investigators that Thornton received approximately one shipment of methamphetamine each week, and each package contained about five pounds.

On February 5th, 2019, postal inspectors intercepted a parcel being shipped to Thornton’s address, which contained 990.3 grams of methamphetamine. Inspectors conducted a controlled delivery of a duplicate package, which contained rock salt, to Thornton’s residence. 

When the package was retrieved from his porch, officers executed a search warrant of the residence. During a search of Thornton’s residence, agents found a 0.22-caliber semi-automatic pistol in the drawer of a bedside table and a loaded 9mm semi-automatic rifle in the garage.

Thornton will receive between a minimum of 10 years to life in federal prison without parole. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled soon.

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