Inmate gets 26 years for leading meth ring from prison cell in Missouri

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An inmate of the Lawton Correctional Facility in Oklahoma has been sentenced in federal court for leading a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Greene and Polk Counties while he was incarcerated.

Joshua A. Ramirez, 39, who has no legal address, was sentenced by U.S. Chief District Judge Beth Phillips on Tuesday, May 7, to 26 years in federal prison without parole. Ramirez was sentenced as a career criminal due to his prior felony convictions.

On Aug. 16, 2023, Ramirez pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Ramirez admitted that he facilitated large methamphetamine transactions from within the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. Ramirez utilized drug couriers to transport methamphetamine and collect proceeds from several co-conspirators in southwest Missouri and elsewhere. Ramirez used a source of supply in Juarez, Mexico.

According to court documents, Ramirez is responsible for the distribution of 907 kilograms of methamphetamine.

During the time of this drug-trafficking conspiracy, Ramirez was serving a state felony sentence in Oklahoma for distributing a controlled substance and waiting to be released and transferred to federal custody to begin serving a 20-year prison sentence in a separate and unrelated case for distributing a controlled substance in the Northern District of Texas.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica R. Eatmon prosecuted this case. The Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, the Springfield, Mo., Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, and the El Dorado Springs, Mo., Police Department investigated it.

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