Local man arrested in drug conspiracy

DEA reports Robert ‘Bobby’ Cantrell, 41, was monitored at home in rural Seymour

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Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 5:00 pm

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.

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