SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tom Larson, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that six more defendants have pleaded guilty in federal court to their roles in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Greene County, Mo.
Adrian Ortiz-Corrales, 42, of Las Vegas, Nev., pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush today to 10 counts charged against him in an indictment returned on Sept. 28, 2016. Specifically, Ortiz-Corrales pleaded guilty to counts of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and conspiracy to commit money laundering, six counts of money laundering, and counts of possessing methamphetamine and heroin for distribution.
Gary Lee Driggers, 65, of Springfield, Mo., pleaded guilty to his role in the drug-trafficking conspiracy on Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017. William Frank Eft, 67, and Williams David Watts, 59, both of Springfield, pleaded guilty to the same charge on Monday, Aug. 14, 2017. Richard Todd Sherwood, 59, of Willard, Mo., and Eduardo Diaz, 53, of Las Vegas, each pleaded guilty to the same charge last week.
In total, the quantity of pure methamphetamine involved in the conspiracy, which lasted from October 2013 to Feb. 29, 2016, weighed in excess of 4.5 kilograms.
Patrick R. Brigaudin, 55, of Springfield, and Gayla Rochelle Phillips, 42, of Willard, have also pleaded guilty to their roles in the drug-trafficking conspiracy as well as to participating in the related money-laundering conspiracy.
In March 2015, a shipment of approximately 15 pounds of pure methamphetamine was interdicted by law enforcement officers. Three persons were arrested following a controlled delivery of the methamphetamine to a Springfield hotel. Brigaudin admitted that he attempted to possess some or all of the methamphetamine, which he intended to distribute to others. Brigaudin also admitted to distributing methamphetamine on several occasions in 2015 and 2016.
On Feb. 29, 2016, Diaz and Ortiz-Corrales transported approximately 12 pounds of methamphetamine and six pounds of heroin to Brigaudin’s residence. While they were removing the methamphetamine from a vehicle, they and Brigaudin were arrested.
Watts admitted that he made his residence available to store methamphetamine. Driggers, Eft and Sherwood each admitted that he obtained methamphetamine from Brigaudin, which he intended to distribute to another person.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy A. Garrison. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, IRS-Criminal Investigation, the Springfield, Mo., Police Department, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Ozark, Mo., Police Department, the Greene County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, COMET (the Combined Ozarks Multijurisdictional Enforcement Team) and the South Central Drug Task Force.
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
Western District of Missouri