A 41-year-old Seymour man was among five people arrested last Wednesday, June 5, for being a part of what federal agents describe as a local drug conspiracy that distributed Mexican meth throughout Christian, Greene and Webster counties.
Robert J. “Bobby” Cantrell remained in the Greene County Jail as of this past weekend after his arrest last Wednesday morning on eastbound U.S. 60 near Rogersville.
A sixth person sought by federal agents, 37-year-old Jerry Wright, formerly of Seymour and now believed to reside in Ozark, remains a fugitive. A year ago, Wright finished a 10-year sentence in a federal prison after being convicted in a previous conspiracy for manufacturing and distributing meth throughout southwest Missouri.
According to a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) affi davit filed Monday, June 3, in federal court, law-enforcement officers in the three aforementioned counties began investigating Cantrell and his associates in April after a sport-utility vehicle carrying 9 pounds of meth was stopped in Amarillo, Texas.
That vehicle was traced back to Wright, per the federal affi davit.
Court documents added that tracking devices were placed on two vehicles suspected to be involved in the transportation of large amounts of drugs in May.
Then, over the past week, the affidavit said DEA agents began working toward arrests.
Utilizing tracking devices that monitored the group’s movements, federal agents watched as Wright drove a Chevrolet pick- up truck to Cantrell’s home in rural Seymour, located on Burnett Road, on Friday, May 31.
Two days later, on June 2, a Mercedes with California license plates, driven by Myrna Aguirre, 41, arrived at a hotel near the Springfield-Branson Regional Airport at Springfield’s northwest edge.
Then, last Wednesday, DEA agents watched the Mercedes depart from a hotel on West Sunshine Street in Springfield, which was surrounded by a mini van and a pickup truck as it traveled through the city. In their report, federal agents said they thought the three vehicles were using “counter surveillance driving measures” to elude law-enforcement authorities.
As the three vehicles were traveling eastbound on U.S. 60 near Rogersville, they were stopped by officers.
Per the court documents, that’s when Cantrell, who was driv ing the truck, told DEA agents that the three vehicles were transporting Mexican meth in the Mercedes. Authorities then con ducted a search of the Mercedes, where they found more than 500 grams of methamphetamine.
In the following investigation, drug agents then questioned Aguirre, who admitted driving the Mercedes to Springfield. She said that she knew the car was filled with meth. Aguirre also told agents that Caesar Ramon Avila-Hernandez, 25, was in charge of the drug deal, the affidavit said.
That day, Aguirre, Cantrell, Avila-Hernandez, 31-year-old Salvador Campos and Jesus Valdez, 32, all were taken into custody and placed in custody at the Greene County Jail. The search for Wright continues.
Jerry Craig, a supervisor for the DEA office in Springfield, told the Springfield News-Leader last week that the meth is believed to have originated in Mexico, then was transported to the Los Angeles, Calif., area before making its way to southwest Missouri.
As of Monday, formal charges against the quintet in custody had yet to be filed.