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Man sentenced for his role in conspiracy to distribute meth in Mid-Missouri

An Independence man has been sentenced to a decade in federal prison without parole for his role in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Boone, Cooper, Lafayette and Jackson counties.

A U.S. district judge sentenced Joseph Winters, 45, in federal court today.

Winters pleaded guilty in December 2016 to one count of distributing methamphetamine, one count of possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

In January 2016, law enforcement officers searched his home and found two guns and several containers with a total of 137 grams of pure methamphetamine, as well as drug paraphernalia and cash.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of a firearm. Winters has prior felony convictions for possession of a controlled substance and distribution of a controlled substance.

Winters is the first defendant to be sentenced in the case. Co-defendants Douglas Marion Pryor, 55, of Columbia, and Matthew Allen Hampton, 35, of Franklin, pleaded guilty to their roles in the drug-trafficking conspiracy and await sentencing. Co-defendant Gregory Alan Kennedy, 53, of Boonville, pleaded guilty to possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute and also awaits sentencing.

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