by Don Ledford
A Springfield, Missouri, man pleaded guilty in federal court to his role in a conspiracy to distribute large amounts of methamphetamine.
Richard G. Wacker, 60, pleaded guilty before U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge David P. Rush to participating in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Greene County, Missouri, from March 30 to Oct. 18, 2017.
By pleading guilty today, Wacker admitted that he traveled to Kansas City on several occasions to purchase a half-pound of methamphetamine. After making two trips with co-defendant Ronald A. Stone, 52, of Springfield, 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.
On Aug. 30, 2017, Wacker gave Stone $10,000 to purchase a kilogram of methamphetamine. Stone was arrested later that day while driving through Bolivar, Missouri, on his way back to Springfield. Law enforcement officers seized 6.8 pounds of methamphetamine from Stone, who admitted he had just delivered $30,000 to a contact he met in Peculiar, Missouri.
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.
In addition to the drug-trafficking conspiracy, Stone pleaded guilty on May 16, 2019, to illegally possessing firearms and to possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute. A few days before Stone’s arrest on Aug. 30, 2017, law enforcement officers had executed a search warrant at his residence and seized methamphetamine, a loaded Taurus .38-caliber revolver, a loaded Vega .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol, and $5,661. Officers had also seized a Hi Point 9mm semi-automatic pistol, ammunition, and methamphetamine from Stone’s residence while executing a search warrant on March 30, 2017.
Wacker also admitted that he distributed pound quantities of methamphetamine to co-defendant Herbert R. Dinger, 64, of Springfield. Dinger pleaded guilty to his role in the drug-trafficking conspiracy on Jan. 7, 2019.
Co-defendant Carol A. Hardy, also known as Carol A. Johnson, 50, has also pleaded guilty to her role in the drug-trafficking conspiracy. She 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.
Under federal statutes, Wacker is 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. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.