Missouri man pleads guilty to $10 million conspiracy to distribute 2,204 pounds of methamphetamine; faces 20 years in prison

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A Missouri man pleaded guilty in federal court to his role in a nearly $10 million conspiracy to distribute almost 1,000 kilograms (2204.62 pounds) of methamphetamine.

Joshua A. Brown, 38, of Kansas City, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Greg Kays to participating in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine from Sept. 1, 2018, to Nov. 5, 2019.

Brown was arrested on March 26, 2019, after he paid $5,000 to purchase methamphetamine from a co-defendant through an intermediate, who was a confidential law enforcement source. Kansas City, Mo., police officers then arrested Brown in the parking lot of the apartment building where he received the methamphetamine.

Brown, who was driving a stolen Volkswagen Jetta, had a loaded Smith and Wesson .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun in his waistband when he was taken into custody. The handgun also had been reported as stolen. Officers searched the Jetta and found a red backpack that contained an Iver Johnson Arms .32-caliber revolver, an Arminius Titan Tiger.38-caliber revolver, and an Iver Johnson Arms .45-caliber revolver, all of which had been reported as stolen. The backpack also contained a blue Nike bag with approximately 735.7 grams of pure methamphetamine and 23.7 grams of marijuana.

Brown told investigators he purchased whole kilograms of methamphetamine every few days. Brown admitted he sold methamphetamine by the ounce and made a $150 profit on each ounce sold.

Brown is among 16 defendants who have pleaded guilty in two separate indictments that resulted from this investigation.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, the government and Brown agree to a sentence of at least 20 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of 30 years in federal prison without parole. Brown must also pay a money judgment not to exceed $9,961,839, representing all of the proceeds obtained as a result of the drug-trafficking conspiracy. The forfeiture is based on a conservative street price of $2,300 for 226 grams (a half-pound) of methamphetamine and the total conspiracy distribution of nearly 979 kilograms (978,859 grams) of methamphetamine.  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. Attorneys Bradley K. Kavanaugh and Sean T. Foley, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Bradshaw. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department, the FBI, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, and the Mid-Missouri Drug Task Force.