A Kansas City, Mo., man has been sentenced in federal court for his role in a nearly $10 million conspiracy to distribute 2204 pounds (1,000 kilograms) of methamphetamine.
Joshua A. Brown, 39, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Greg Kays on Wednesday, May 31, to 30 years in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Brown to forfeit to the government $31,108, which represents his proceeds from illegal drug trafficking.
On June 27, 2022, Brown pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine from Sept. 1, 2018, to Nov. 5, 2019. According to court documents, Brown was responsible for the distribution of nearly 3.8 kilograms of methamphetamine during the conspiracy.
Brown has also been charged with the murder of a victim identified in court documents as “T.D.” in the District Court of Leavenworth County, Kansas, and that case is currently pending. The body of the victim, who suffered a single gunshot wound to the back of the head, was discovered on March 12, 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. A .45-caliber shell casing recovered at the scene where T. D.’s body was found had been fired through the Smith and Wesson .45-caliber pistol, which had been reported as stolen.
Officers searched the Jetta and found a red backpack that contained an Iver Johnson Arms .32-caliber revolver, an Arminus 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 $150 profit on each ounce sold. Brown also told investigators he acquired the stolen firearms through trades for methamphetamine.
According to court documents, Brown was under a criminal justice sentence for possession of a controlled substance, resisting arrest by fleeing – creating a substantial risk of serious injury or death, and unlawful use of a weapon in the Circuit Court of Platte County, Mo., and possession of drug contraband in prison in the District Court of Ellsworth County, Kan., when he committed this federal offense.
Brown has nine prior felony convictions for possession of stolen property, aggravated battery, criminal use of weapons, distribution of certain hallucinogens, possession of drug contraband in prison, fleeing or attempting to elude law enforcement, possession of a controlled substance, resisting arrest by fleeing – creating a substantial risk of serious injury or death, and unlawful use of a weapon. Brown also has been convicted of 20 misdemeanor and/or ordinance offenses.
Brown is the final defendant among 18 defendants who have been sentenced in two separate indictments that resulted from this investigation.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Bradley K. Kavanaugh and Sean T. Foley. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department, the FBI, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, and the Mid-Missouri Drug Task Force.