Skip to Content

Harrisburg man gets three years in prison for role in nationwide marijuana ring

Lasso Circle homicide
ABC 17 News
Columbia police investigate at a home in the 1900 block of Lasso Circle. Augustus "Gus" Roberts was killed at his home on Dec. 11, 2017.


A man living in rural Boone County will spend more than three years in prison for his role in a nationwide marijuana operation.

Christopher Bradshaw received a 41-month sentence from Judge Brian Wimes in federal court on Tuesday. Bradshaw admitted to helping sell marijuana that prosecutors believe came from Oregon and California, and had ties to a homicide in east Columbia in 2017.

Bradshaw pleaded guilty in October to possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Federal prosecutors say Bradshaw was one of several people in mid-Missouri that took marijuana from Craig Smith of Medford, Ore. The mid-Missouri ties include Augustus "Gus" Roberts, who was killed at home in the Old Hawthorne neighborhood in December 2017.

Bradshaw's plea agreement says that he took about 200 pounds of marijuana from a co-defendant, Blake Johnson, at Bradshaw's Harrisburg home the day after Roberts was killed. While Bradshaw knew nothing of the killing, court documents say, he destroyed the marijuana with a flamethrower when he later found out what happened to Roberts.

No one has yet faced charges for killing Roberts.

Wimes said he based his sentence partly on Bradshaw torching the marijuana rather than turning it over to law enforcement. Wimes' sentence was seven months below what assistant U.S. attorney Michael Oliver recommended, but greater than defense lawyer Shane Farrow's recommendation of one year and one day.

Johnson, who prosecutors referred to as one of Roberts' "principal lieutenant" in the marijuana business in Columbia, is set to be sentenced on Wednesday. Prosecutors recommended he get 10 years in prison.

Bradshaw and Johnson will be the third and fourth people in mid-Missouri to receive prison sentences for their roles in the drug operation. Osama and Nader Yanis, the former of which owned Coffee Zone in Columbia, received a four-year and two-year sentence respectively for helping sell marijuana from 2017 to 2018.

Several other people across the U.S. have pleaded guilty for helping sell marijuana, transport the product and its profits across the country and laundering the money made. Smith, who prosecutors have focused on as the leader of the operation, has pleaded not guilty.

Lucas Geisler

Lucas Geisler anchors the 5 p.m. show for ABC 17 News and reports on the latest news around mid-Missouri at 9 and 10 p.m.



  1. It is always nice to see a central Missouri business succeed on the national level.

    When it says “he destroyed the marijuana with a flamethrower” does that really mean using a Bic lighter one toke at a time?

  2. Meanwhile the latest surveys show 66% of the US population in favor of legalizing an herb that is similar in effect, and far less dangerous than alcohol. The continued suppression of the use of marijuana is a blatant indictment of the medical profession. If they were truly concerned about our health, they would be lobbying to legalize it. Not only is it safer than alcohol, it also has many beneficial health effects.

Leave a Reply

Skip to content