Independence man sentenced to 15 years in prison for meth trafficking

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An Independence, Mo., man has been sentenced in federal court for his role in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and for illegally possessing eight firearms.

Nicholas G. Gutierrez, 43, was sentenced by U.S. Chief District Judge Beth Phillips on Tuesday, Jan. 23, to 15 years in federal prison without parole.

On Aug. 29, 2023, Gutierrez pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess methamphetamine with the intent to distribute, and one count of being a felon in possession of firearms.

The U.S. Postal Service interdicted a package destined for Gutierrez’s residence on April 14, 2023. Investigators opened the package and found three bundles of methamphetamine that weighed a total of approximately four kilograms. Investigators made a controlled delivery of the empty box to Gutierrez’s residence.

Agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration executed a search warrant at Gutierrez’s residence on April 19, 2023. Agents found a bag that contained more than a kilogram of methamphetamine on top of a dresser in the master bedroom. A Glock 19 pistol, which had been reported stolen, and additional illegal narcotics were found on the bed in the master bedroom, including several clear plastic bags that contained a total of approximately 440.67 grams of methamphetamine.

Agents forced open a black safe that was in the master bedroom and found an Iver Johnson revolver, a Glock 29, a Glock 17, a Rock Island 1911, a Canik SPX Rival 9mm, a Remington .22-caliber rifle, and a Remington .270-caliber rifle.

Agents also found 9.6 grams of heroin and 46.95 grams of fentanyl at Gutierrez’s residence.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Gutierrez has prior felony convictions for being a drug user in possession of a firearm and for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregg R. Coonrod. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

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