The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

January 8, 2013

Kansas City man pleads guilty in cocaine case

A Kansas City man who was facing two felony drug counts and a weapon charge in Jasper County pleaded guilty Monday to a single offense in a plea deal with the prosecutor’s office.

Gary P. Jones, 40, pleaded guilty in Jasper County Circuit Court to a Class B felony count of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. He had been facing a Class A felony count of first-degree trafficking in drugs.

Under terms of the plea agreement, the prison time Jones might be assessed would be limited to no more than 10 years. He was facing from 10 to 30 years or up to life in prison if convicted of the trafficking offense. The deal also would dismiss two previous charges of possession of crack cocaine with intent to deliver and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Court records allege that a vehicle Jones was driving was stopped by Joplin police on July 3, 2011, and 10 bags containing 4.1 grams of crack cocaine and a handgun were seized. On Nov. 16, 2011, narcotics officers served a search warrant at 812 S. Pennsylvania Ave. and found the defendant in alleged possession of 8.8 grams of cocaine, according to court records.

Circuit Judge David Dally ordered a sentencing-assessment report and set a sentencing hearing for March 18.