Eleven people — nine of them from Joplin — have been indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly conspiring to distribute meth in the Joplin area from April 1, 2013, to July 31, 2014, according to a statement issued by the office by Tammy Dickinson, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri.
Several of those indicted also face additional charges.
The indictments followed a year-long, multi-agency investigation into an international drug organization based in Matamoras, Mexico, with members across the United States, including Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri, according to the statement.
Those indicted include:
- Miriam Deleon, 33, of Brownsville, Texas.
According to an affidavit filed in support of the original criminal complaint, she was identified as the leader of the drug-trafficking organization and a major source of supply in the Joplin area.
- Israel Belmontes-Cisneros, 32, a citizen of Mexico residing in Sugarland, Texas.
Both Deleon and Blemontes-Cisneros also are charged together in one count of aiding and abetting each other to distribute 50 grams or more of meth on July 31, 2014.
- Deleon’s brother, Jose Luis Deleon, Jr., 35, Joplin. He also is charged one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
- Brian Ashton, 29, Joplin. Ashton also is charged with two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm and one count of possessing a shotgun that was not registered to him.
Both Jose Deleon and Ashton are charged together in one count of aiding and abetting each other to possess firearms in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime.
- Jack Holguin, 45, Joplin. He is charged with an additional count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
- Ashley Lynn Mobley, 30, Joplin.
- Jeremy McClean, 32, Joplin.
- Billy Duane Henson, 60, Joplin.
- Brian Stark, 40, Joplin.
- Eric Allen Meyer, 31, Joplin. He also faces a single charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
- Juan Leonardo Simmons, 31, Joplin.
Both Simmons and Meyer also are each charged with one count of possessing firearms in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime.
All were charged in a 12-count indictment returned under seal by the grand jury in Springfield on Sept. 30. The superseding indictment was unsealed and made public upon the arrest and initial court appearance of Stark on Tuesday, Oct. 7.
The federal indictment also contains several forfeiture allegations, which would require the defendants to forfeit to the government any property derived from the proceeds of the alleged violations or any property used to commit the alleged violations, including $5,642 that was seized from Holguin by law enforcement officers and $3,658 that was seized from Meyer by law enforcement officers.
Simmons would be required to forfeit an AMT .380-caliber handgun; Ashton would be required to forfeit a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun, a Glock .40-caliber handgun and a Kirikkale 9mm handgun; and Meyer would be required to forfeit a Harrington and Richardson .32-caliber revolver and a Taurus .38-caliber revolver. Holguin and Jose Deleon would also be required to forfeit various ammunition.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the FBI, the Jasper County Drug Task Force, the Joplin Police Department, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Kansas Bureau of Investigations, IRS-Criminal Investigations, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Newton County, Missouri, Prosecuting Attorney.