JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Clark, Mo., couple have pleaded guilty in federal court to their roles in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Randolph and Boone Counties, Mo.
Miguel Flores-Ramirez, 33, of Clark, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Matt J. Whitworth today to the charge contained in an Oct. 1, 2014, federal indictment. His wife, Kena Marie Flores-Ramirez, pleaded guilty on May 19, 2016, to her role in the conspiracy.
According to today’s plea agreement, law enforcement officers intercepted phone calls between Miguel Flores-Ramirez and another individual that indicated a shipment of methamphetamine was to be delivered to him in Columbia, Mo. He arranged for Kena Flores-Ramirez and a co-conspirator to pick up a vehicle in which the methamphetamine was hidden and drive the vehicle back to their residence in Clark.
Officers saw Kena Flores-Ramirez leave their residence at 5:21 a.m. on May 23, 2014. She and a co-conspirator drove to a parking lot on Vandiver Drive in Columbia, where they met a car carrier. Her co-conspirator drove out of the parking lot in a maroon 1999 Toyota Tacoma with no registration that had been on the car carrier.
Law enforcement officers made contact with the driver of the car carrier, who stated that he worked for a logistics company from Maryland. He showed the agent a bill of lading for a 1999 Toyota Tacoma that he had just delivered. He stated that he had obtained the vehicle on May 21, 2014, in Denver, Colo., and that it was the last vehicle he picked up before driving to Columbia. He stated that he just delivered the vehicle and was paid a $600 transport fee.
Officers conducted traffic stops of both Kena Flores-Ramirez and her co-conspirator. A narcotics dog alerted to the area of the rear bumper and the passenger side rear wheel well on the exterior of the Toyota Tacoma. They were released, but officers kept the Toyota Tacoma in order to conduct a more thorough search. After they left, officers intercepted a phone call in which Kena Flores-Ramirez called her husband and told him they had been stopped, the truck had been taken, and to clean out the house and dispose of everything. Later that day, officers intercepted a phone call from Miguel Flores-Ramirez to another individual in which he said “they will find something” (the methamphetamine) “if they tear it (the Tacoma) apart.”
Officers searched the Toyota Tacoma and found six large vacuum-sealed bags and four smaller bags of methamphetamine hidden in the gas tank. The large bags weighed approximately one pound each, and the smaller bags approximately a half-pound each, for a total of 3.492 kilograms of pure methamphetamine.
Under federal statutes, both Miguel and Kena Flores-Ramirez are subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of life in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. Sentencing hearings will be scheduled after the completion of presentence investigations by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lawrence E. Miller. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Columbia, Mo., Police Department, the FBI, IRS-Criminal Investigation and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.