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Missouri man pleads guilty to $1 million meth conspiracy, identity theft

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A local man pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to his role in a $1 million conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, as well as a conspiracy to commit identity theft. The guilty plea resulted from an investigation by the following agencies: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); the Missouri police departments of Lee's Summit, Kansas City, North Kansas City, and Independence; the Drug Enforcement Administration; the U.S. Secret Service; and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Brad D. Webster, 47, of Osceola, pleaded guilty Nov. 28 before U.S. Magistrate Judge John T. Maughmer to the charges contained in a Jan. 25 federal indictment.

By pleading guilty, Webster also agreed to forfeit to the government $250,000, as well as two laptop computers, two digital cameras, a scanner, two printers, and other equipment used to commit the offense.

Webster admitted to participating in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine from Jan. 1, 2006 to May 31, 2010. During the course of the conspiracy, co-conspirators allegedly obtained a total of $1 million in proceeds from illegally distributing methamphetamine.

Webster also admitted to participating in a separate conspiracy to commit identity theft, produce false identification documents, and make and pass counterfeit checks from Oct. 18, 2006 to Oct. 31, 2008.

The investigation began when Lee's Summit police officers responded to a report of drugs being used or sold from a room at a Lee's Summit hotel. Webster had been renting the room for several days under a false identity. When officers searched the room, they found a baggie containing meth, marijuana cigarettes, drug paraphernalia, two computers and computer equipment, a printer, and identification cards and other documents in the name of another person. A forensic analysis of Webster's computer revealed 14 counterfeit driver's licenses with Webster's picture, 21 counterfeit driver's licenses with Webster's picture in progress, and the Versa Check program. The Versa Check program had been used to print 456 blank checks from multiple commercial and personal accounts, as well as 136 checks from various accounts totaling nearly $80,000.

Webster used the counterfeit identification cards to cash counterfeited and forged checks, which he used to make retail purchases.

Webster admitted that he purchased methamphetamine from a supplier who obtains multi-pound amounts of methamphetamine from a source in Kansas City, Kan., who transports it from Mexico.

Webster is the third co-defendant to plead guilty among 15 defendants who were charged in the federal indictment. Roxie A. Boling, 29, and Jeffrey S. Lewis, also known as "JJ," 45, both of Kansas City, Mo., have pleaded guilty to participating in the drug-trafficking conspiracy. Lewis also pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Under federal statutes, Webster is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of life in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $4.25 million. Assistant U.S. Attorney Rudolph R. Rhodes IV, Western District of Missouri, is prosecuting the case.