May 21, 2020
Contact: Andree Swanson
Phone Number: (571) 362-5149
Southwest Honkys gang member pleads guilty to meth conspiracy
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Fair Grove, Missouri man who is a member of the violent Southwest Honkys prison gang pled guilty in federal court today to his role in a drug-trafficking conspiracy in which investigators intercepted a shipment of nearly 9.5 kilograms of methamphetamine.
William F. Jones, 45, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to participating in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Christian County, Greene County, and Polk County, Missouri, from December 21, 2016, to October 15, 2017. The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Springfield, Missouri Police Department and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
According to today’s plea agreement, Jones was identified as a mid-level member of the Southwest Honkys prison gang who had declined a leadership role.
Jones, under the surveillance of law enforcement, drove to the Kansas City, Missouri area on October 11, 2017, and checked into an Independence, Missouri hotel. A few days later, co-defendant Justin L. Rhoads, 32, of Lebanon, Missouri met Jones in the hotel’s parking lot. They put a large duffel bag in the cab of Rhoads’s pickup truck, and he left the parking lot. Rhoads was later stopped by a Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper on Missouri Highway 13, just south of Humansville, Missouri. The trooper searched Rhoads’s vehicle and found ten Ziploc-style plastic bags inside the duffel bag that contained a total of approximately 9,439 grams of methamphetamine, which was determined to be at least 93 percent pure.
Rhoads pled guilty on December 16, 2019, to his role in the drug-trafficking conspiracy.
Under federal statutes, Jones and Rhoads each are subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of life in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. Sentencing hearings will be scheduled after the completion of presentence investigations by the United States Probation Office.
This case is part of the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program. The OCDETF program is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s drug supply reduction strategy. OCDETF was established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multilevel attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations. Today, OCDETF combines the resources and expertise of its member federal agencies in cooperation with state and local law enforcement. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking organizations, transnational criminal organizations, and money laundering organizations that present a significant threat to the public safety, economic, or national security of the United States.