Southwest Missouri man sentenced to 13 years for meth trafficking, firearm

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Billy Hile, a 61-year-old man with no known address, was sentenced to 13 years in federal prison without parole for illegally possessing methamphetamine and a firearm. U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool handed down the sentence.

Hile pleaded guilty on Nov. 9, 2023, to possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute and to possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime. He was sentenced as a career offender due to his prior felony convictions.

The case began on Sept. 15, 2021, when a Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper conducted a traffic stop while Hile was driving his Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck on U.S. Highway 60 in Lawrence County, Missouri. During the stop, Hile, who had 13 baggies of marijuana, admitted to having a medical marijuana card but said he purchased the marijuana on the black market. He also admitted to smoking marijuana a few hours before the traffic stop. After conducting field sobriety tests, the trooper arrested Hile for driving while intoxicated.

A search of Hile revealed marijuana, $4,795 in cash (some of which was later found to be counterfeit), and a bag in his pants containing a pipe, methamphetamine, cocaine, and psilocin mushrooms.

The trooper then searched Hile’s vehicle and discovered a loaded Glock 9mm semi-automatic pistol, which had been reported stolen, and 91.49 grams of methamphetamine inside a Gladware container in a tackle box. The tackle box also contained drug paraphernalia.

The case was prosecuted by Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall D. Eggert and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica Eatmon. The investigation was conducted by the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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