Missouri man sentenced for trading meth for stolen firearms

Prison Sentence

A Branson, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court for trading methamphetamine in exchange for stolen firearms.

Gerald E. Waters, 55, of Branson, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to 10 years in federal prison without parole.

On Sept. 21, 2016, Waters pleaded guilty to possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute and to possessing firearms in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime.

On May 14, 2015, a federal agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives contacted the Branson, Mo., Police Department regarding his investigation of a burglary of a federally licensed firearms dealer in Carroll County, Arkansas. During an interview with suspects in the burglary, the agent learned that someone had traded firearms to Waters in exchange for drugs.

A Branson detective contacted Waters at the Shady Oak Motel. Law enforcement officers found two Cobra Enterprise .38-caliber derringers, a Phoenix Arms .22-caliber semi-automatic pistol, and a loaded Armscor of the Philippines 9mm semi-automatic pistol, all of which had been reported stolen from the firearms dealer in Arkansas, inside a safe in the motel room.

Officers searched the room and found 130.9 grams of methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, and a water bottle with $592 inside, all inside another safe in the motel room.