Two more southern Missouri women recently pleaded guilty in federal court to their roles in a conspiracy to distribute large amounts of methamphetamine in Springfield, MO.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says 24-year old Cassidy R. Clayton, of Springfield, and 39-year old Ginger L. Huerta, also known as Ginger L. Gray, of Halfway, MO, pleaded guilty in separate appearances to participating in the drug-trafficking conspiracy which reportedly lasted from November 2016 - September 2018.

Clayton and Huerta also pleaded guilty to participating in a money-laundering conspiracy.

By pleading guilty, Clayton and Huerta reportedly admitted they received methamphetamine directly from the same source, whom they said transported approximately 10 pounds of methamphetamine per week by vehicle from California to the Springfield area. Clayton and Huerta then distributed the drug to other mid-level dealers in the conspiracy, additionally admitting they wired the proceeds of drug trafficking to members of the drug-trafficking organization who resided in California and Mexico.

Clayton admitted that she received methamphetamine on approximately 10 occasions. On three of those occasions, she received a quarter pound, and the other times, she received less than four ounces. Clayton was arrested when she arrived at the location where law enforcement officers were executing a search warrant on September 22, 2017. Inside Clayton’s purse, officers reportedly found .25 grams of methamphetamine inside a plastic bag, a glass meth pipe, three syringes loaded with an off-white liquid, and a loaded Kahr .40-caliber semi-automatic pistol.

Huerta admitted she delivered approximately a quarter pound of methamphetamine per week from July - December 2017. She was arrested following a traffic stop in December 2017. Officers reportedly searched her vehicle and found a digital scale containing methamphetamine residue, a metal pipe with burnt marijuana, a small open corner bag with meth residue, along with a bag containing meth residue inside a sunglasses case, and two .38-caliber revolvers inside the glove compartment. The firearms were identified as a Charter Arms .38-caliber revolver and a Taurus .38-caliber revolver with an obliterated serial number.

Clayton and Huerta are among seven defendants who have pleaded guilty in this case, including 33-year old Lonnie J. Tinker, and 37-year old Laurie B. Holmes, both of Springfield; 42-year old Lloyd R. Bradley, of Fordland, MO; 31-year old Shelby R. Maupin, of Ozark, MO; and 33-year old Summerlee M. Barnett, also known as Summerlee M. Lacount, of Salem, MO.

Under federal statutes, Clayton and Huerta are each subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison without parole, up to a life sentence without parole.

Sentencing hearings will be scheduled after the completion of presentence investigations by the United States Probation Office.

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