Two Southeast Missouri men plead guilty to federal drug charges

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Two men indicted on federal drug charges in August pleaded guilty in a federal court Monday afternoon.

Lamar Anthony White, 48, of Kennett, Mo., pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute 280 grams or more of crack cocaine and possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

U.S. District Judge Stephen Limbaugh Jr. accepted the plea in Cape Girardeau and set White's sentencing hearing for Aug. 20. White faces up to life in prison, with a minimum sentence of 10 years. He could be fined up to $10 million.

On June 2, Kennett police officer Brandon Moore saw a white van run off the road at Kennett Street, federal prosecutor Paul Hahn said. Moore and another officer, Eric Waynick, approached the vehicle. Waynick saw a black bag with a zipper partially open inside the van. He flashed a light on it and saw what appeared to be packaged drugs. Finding probable cause, Waynick reached in and checked, finding eight one-kilogram packages of cocaine, Hahn said.

An investigation determined that White and David Lee Harley, 34, of Poplar Bluff, Mo., and others conspired to distribute cocaine from June 16, 2010, to May 3, 2011, in Butler County and elsewhere, Hahn said.

In August, White and Harley were indicted on the conspiracy charges. Also indicted at that time were David A. Parker, Michael Dewayne Caruthers, Jo Devon Maxwell, Clarence Pulliam and Sidney Denham Jr., all of Kennett; Hinton Gilmer Jr., of Poplar Bluff; and Randy Earl Caruthers of Blytheville, Ark., according to a Department of Justice news release. Parker was charged with distribution of 28 or more grams of cocaine base, the release said.

Harley pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute more than 280 grams of crack cocaine Monday. Because of previous felony convictions, Harley faces a minimum of 20 years and up to life in prison. He also faces up to a $20 million fine. His sentencing hearing is also scheduled for Aug. 20.

"There's a significant quantity of cocaine involved in this case," Hahn said. "Eight kilos of cocaine -- that would be on our radar."

The investigation into the case led federal authorities earlier this month to recognize 41 local law-enforcement personnel from Arkansas and Missouri and personnel from the U.S. attorney's office, the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Missouri State Highway Patrol for their yearlong efforts, which resulted in the seizure of large amounts of cash, cocaine and crack cocaine.

jgamm@semissourian.com

573-388-3635

Pertinent address:

599 Independence St., Cape Girardeau, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: