A Chicago, Illinois, man who was arrested while driving through northern Missouri pleaded guilty in federal court today to possessing nearly a kilogram of methamphetamine to distribute.
Kevin M. Phyfiher, 29, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Greg Kays to one count of possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute.
A Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper stopped the Dodge Caravan Phyfiher was driving on Interstate 29 in Andrew County, Missouri, on May 8, 2017. In addition to Phyfiher, co-defendant Donta Mosley, 27, of Chicago, was in the cargo area of the van, and there were two female passengers. Phyfiher was not identified as a lawful driver of the vehicle, which had been rented by his cousin (who was not present).
Officers directed Phyfiher and the passengers to get out of the van while they deployed a police support canine. Mosley, who had a handgun in his waistband, was arrested. The others were instructed to get on the ground during the search. Phyfiher then fled, running into the underbrush, and law enforcement officers were unable to find him. During a later search of the vehicle, officers found two plastic baggies that contained a total of 907 grams of methamphetamine.
The next day, a vehicle was reported as stolen from Jesse’s Last Stop Gas Station in Andrew County. At about 6:19 a.m., a state trooper saw Phyfiher driving the stolen vehicle on 36 Highway. The trooper attempted to stop the vehicle and the vehicle attempted to evade the officer. After several miles of pursuit at high rates of speed, the stolen vehicle was stopped by spike strips that were deployed in the road by other law enforcement officers. Phyfiher, who surrendered and was arrested, told officers, “I should have stayed in the bushes.”
According to today’s plea agreement, investigators discovered several live stream video recordings taken by Phyfiher in the days before his arrest. The videos show Phyfiher on a road trip to Las Vegas and California. In one of the videos, Phyfiher and Mosley are holding large stacks of money. In another video, Phyfiher refers to getting some “Cali dope.”
Mosley was sentenced on Jan. 30, 2019, to five years and four months in federal prison without parole after pleading guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Under the terms of today’s plea agreement, Phyfiher is subject to a sentence of 15 years in federal prison without parole. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Trey Alford. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.