JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)
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.