St Joseph Residents Facing Federal Drug-Trafficking Charges

3 St Joseph area residents are among 11 that have been added to a federal indictment that now includes charges against 25 defendants for their roles in a $4.1 million dollar drug-trafficking conspiracy that distributed more than 520 kilograms of methamphetamine over 3 years.

33 year Amanda Leigh Watson was one of five residents arrested on July 23rd after being charged in a six-count superseding indictment returned from a federal grand jury in Kansas City.

43 year old Phillip Tra Joseph Hoyt and 31 year old Christopher Dean Parton were already among 5 suspects in custody on unrelated state and federal cases and are also now charged in the superseding indictment.

The indictment alleges that the defendants participated in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine between January 1, 2017 through July 21st of this year. The indictment says conspirators received $4.16 million dollars in exchange for the unlawful distribution of more than 520 kilograms, based on an average street price of $8,000 per kilogram of methamphetamine.

All of the defendants are also charged with participating in a money-laundering conspiracy during that time to use drug sale proceeds to promote the drug-trafficking conspiracy and to conceal the proceeds of that drug-trafficking conspiracy and charged with possessing multiple firearms in furtherance of violent crimes and drug-trafficking crimes.

The indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation, which would require the defendants to forfeit to the government any property obtained from the proceeds of the drug-trafficking conspiracy, including a money judgment of $4,160,000.