SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Springfield, Mo., woman and a Nixa, Mo., man were sentenced in federal court on Tuesday, June 5, 2018 for their roles in a conspiracy to distribute large quantities of methamphetamine in southwest Missouri.
Melody W. Carpenter, 35, of Springfield, and Anthony A. Hatfield, 34, of Nixa, were sentenced in separate appearances before U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool. Carpenter and Hatfield were each sentenced to 10 years in federal prison without parole.
Beginning in 2012, the Drug Enforcement Administration, assisted by other agencies, investigated one of the largest methamphetamine distribution rings in southwest Missouri. The leaders of the drug-trafficking conspiracy were Kenneth R. Friend, 47, of Springfield, and Kenna Harmon, 39, of Republic, Mo., who obtained pound amounts of methamphetamine from sources in Kansas City, St. Louis, and Oklahoma for distribution in the Springfield area.
The investigation resulted in the indictment of 29 co-defendants. In total, the Friend/Harmon drug-trafficking organization was responsible for the distribution of over 45 kilograms of methamphetamine from June 1, 2013, through Nov. 29, 2014.
Both Carpenter and Hatfield pleaded guilty to participating in the conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Carpenter and Hatfield admitted they purchased methamphetamine from Friend and Harmon, which they distributed to others.
During the course of the wiretaps in this case, hundreds of communications were intercepted between Carpenter and others where she was arranging methamphetamine transactions or financial transactions involving the payment for methamphetamine.
During the conspiracy, Carpenter received ounce amounts of methamphetamine at least once per week and redistributed them in the Springfield area..
During another intercepted telephone call, Harmon and Hatfield discussed Harmon’s child finding a Crown Royal bag that contained approximately one pound of methamphetamine inside of it, which Hatfield had left in the child’s bedroom.
Friend pleaded guilty on April 11, 2018, and awaits sentencing. Harmon pleaded guilty and was sentenced on May 29, 2018, to 21 years and six months in federal prison without parole.
Harmon’s husband, Daniel Harmon, was also a leader of the drug-trafficking conspiracy. In December 2013, Daniel Harmon was stopped by law enforcement officers outside of St. Louis. During a search of his vehicle, officers discovered approximately four pounds of methamphetamine, $60,000 and a handgun.
Daniel Harmon was indicted in the Eastern District of Missouri and pleaded guilty to possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute and to being a felon in possession of a firearm.
After Daniel Harmon’s arrest and incarceration, Kenna Harmon continued to lead the drug-trafficking organization in its distribution of methamphetamine.
Carpenter and Hatfield are among 21 co-defendants who have been sentenced in this case. The remaining eight defendants have pleaded guilty and await sentencing.