Four Southern Missouri Men Sentenced for Meth Conspiracy
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Four southern Missouri men were sentenced in federal court today for their roles in a conspiracy to distribute large quantities of methamphetamine.
Patrick A. Dodson, also known as “Julio,” 42, and Leslie O. Collins, 48, both of West Plains, Mo., Samuel L. Pyatt, also known as “Tippy,” 47, of Pomona, Mo., and Christopher L. Dusenbury, 32, of Bowling Green, Mo., were sentenced in separate appearances before U.S. Chief District Judge Beth Phillips.
Dodson was sentenced to 23 years in federal prison without parole. Pyatt was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison without parole. Dusenbury was sentenced to 11 years and three months in federal prison without parole. Collins was sentenced to four years in federal prison without parole.
Dodson and Pyatt pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine from Feb. 28, 2017, to Feb. 28, 2020. Dodson and Pyatt obtained methamphetamine from co-defendant James W. Fithen, Jr., also known as “Boss,” 37, of West Plains, who acquired kilogram-level quantities of methamphetamine from Mexico. Dodson and Pyatt then distributed the methamphetamine to others. Dodson admitted he was involved in the distribution of methamphetamine for approximately four years. During that time, the Fithen drug-trafficking organization was selling, on average, 10 kilograms of methamphetamine per month, at a profit of approximately $100,000 per month.
Dodson also pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime and to two counts of being a felon and unlawful user of a controlled substance in possession of a firearm. Dodson admitted that he was in possession of a Ruger 9mm pistol on Oct. 6, 2019, in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime and while he was a felon and a drug user. Dodson also admitted that he was in possession of a Bryco 9mm pistol on Dec. 17, 2019, while he was a felon and a drug user.
Dusenbury pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the distribution of methamphetamine and to possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime. Collins pleaded guilty to controlling a place for the distribution of illegal drugs.
Fithen has pleaded guilty to his role in the drug-trafficking conspiracy, as well as to aiding and abetting the attempted possession of methamphetamine to distribute, and awaits sentencing.
Co-defendant Bradley J. Russell , 58, of West Plains, was sentenced on Oct. 6, 2021, to 15 years in federal prison without parole. Seven additional co-defendants also have pleaded guilty and await sentencing.
Dodson was the passenger in a vehicle that led police officers on a high-speed chase in Howell County, Mo., on Oct. 6, 2019. A Howell County sheriff’s deputy saw several items being thrown out of his vehicle during the chase. The driver lost control of the vehicle and struck an embankment, knocking down two fence posts. The deputy saw the loaded Ruger pistol thrown from the vehicle, to which Dodson later admitted possessing. Dodson and the driver were arrested; Dodson was in possession of .82 grams of methamphetamine and $170 in cash. Officers recovered two boxes with fentanyl patches and a plastic bag that contained marijuana, which had been thrown from the vehicle. Officers searched the vehicle and found methamphetamine, fentanyl patches, marijuana, cash and drug paraphernalia.
Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Dodson has five prior felony convictions, including a conviction for possession of a controlled substance.
On April 16, 2020, law enforcement was informed that a county employee who was grading the gravel road on County Road 2630, approximately a quarter mile north of State Route N Highway, had located an unknown quantity of suspected methamphetamine inside a .30-caliber ammunition container. At that time, the officer recalled having a conversation with Dodson in late 2019 in which Dodson stated he had placed an ammunition can containing approximately one to two kilograms of methamphetamine somewhere around State Route N in Pomona. Dodson told the officer he was high when he hid it and had spent two weeks trying to locate it. The officer recovered the container and the methamphetamine.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the South Central Drug Task Force, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Howell, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the West Plains, Mo., Police Department, the Arkansas State Police, the Fulton County, Ark., Sheriff’s Department, and the Arkansas 16th Judicial Drug Task Force.