Garden City woman, Licking man plead guilty to meth conspiracy

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A Garden City, Missouri., woman and a Licking, Missouri, man pleaded guilty in federal court to their roles in a conspiracy to distribute at least 15 kilograms of methamphetamine.

Lisa A. Fletcher, 51, and Ricky F. Hazen, 63, pleaded guilty in separate appearances before U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to participating in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Co-defendant Tony L. Ryerson, 52, of Duke, Mo., pleaded guilty on Jan. 24, 2018, to his role in the drug-trafficking conspiracy.

According to court documents, Fletcher supplied Hazen with at least a pound of methamphetamine each week between June 28, 2015, and Nov. 28, 2016. Hazen then distributed methamphetamine to Ryerson and others. Ryerson distributed ounce quantities of methamphetamine to other distributors.

According to court documents, the conspiracy distributed at least 15 kilograms of methamphetamine. The defendants’ plea agreements cite several controlled buys of methamphetamine from Hazen and Ryerson by law enforcement officers utilizing confidential informants. One confidential informant saw Ryerson pull out a shotgun and shoot a hole in the wall of the residence during a transaction. The confidential informant also saw three additional firearms on Ryerson’s table.

Another source told investigators that he purchased at least a pound of methamphetamine from Hazen each week for four months, for which he paid Hazen $1,000 per ounce. Officers executed a search warrant at Hazen’s residence on Sept. 18, 2015, and found 522 grams of methamphetamine in an ammunition can on a trailer outside the house, as well as a total of 1.4 grams of methamphetamine in baggies on the kitchen counter.

Hazen told investigators he had been buying pounds of methamphetamine for three months from a source that was introduced to him by Fletcher. Ryerson was averaging a pound a week from this source until that source was “busted” in August. Hazen then began getting pounds from a new source in the Kanas City, Mo., area. Ryerson would call Fletcher and tell her how much methamphetamine he needed. Fletcher would then call Hazen to tell him when to come to her residence to retrieve the methamphetamine. Hazen paid Fletcher $13,000 per pound of methamphetamine.

On Oct. 9, 2015, a Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper conducted a stop of a Ford Crown Victoria, driven by Fletcher, in Polk County, Mo. Inside the vehicle, the trooper found a suitcase that contained 443.7 grams of methamphetamine. Fletcher admitted she was delivering the methamphetamine to Hazen.

Under federal statutes, Fletcher, Hazen, and Ryerson each 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 defendants 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.