By Don Groves
The Albany Ledger
A 21-year-old Gladstone woman will serve a felony Gentry County sentence concurrent with a federal conspiracy conviction.
Shannon Renee “Bug” Keyes was sentenced April 10 during Gentry County Law Day to five years in the Missouri Department of Corrections for Class C felony tampering with a motor vehicle. Keyes was charged in January 2012 in Gentry County after stealing a 1994 Chevrolet pickup.
Gentry County prosecutor Jerry Biggs recommended she serve the sentence concurrently with an 87-month sentence she received Nov. 15 in U.S. Western District Court, St. Joseph Division. Judge Roger Prokes agreed with Biggs’ recommendation.
Keyes and 29 others were indicted in March 2012 to conspire to deliver more than $1 million worth of methamphetamine from Jan. 1, 2009, to March 14, 2012, in Northwest Missouri. The Buchanan County Drug Strike Force, the Buchanan, Holt and Nodaway County Sheriffs Departments, the St. Joseph Police Department, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and he Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation.
Keyes pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine and to launder money from the sale of methamphetamine. Federal documents say Keyes and others in the drug trafficking organization distributed multiple pounds of methamphetamine throughout Northwest Missouri, Southwest Iowa, Northeast Kansas and Southeast Iowa. The documents also say Keyes made as many as five trips a day from St. Joseph to Kansas City to pick up methamphetamine to sell.
Keyes appeared calm and courteous in court April 10 before Judge Prokes.
“Good luck to you,” Prokes told Keyes following her sentencing. “You’re still going to be young when you get out of prison.”
Prokes also accepted a plea agreement from 18-year-old Hunter R. Sweat of Albany, who pleaded guilty March 6 to Class C felony distribution of marijuana. After meeting with Biggs and defense attorney Kenneth C. Hensley to review Sweat’s file before the case, Prokes said, “The more I read it the madder I got. Providing marijuana to 15-year-old girls in this community. … That’s reprehensible.”
Prokes agreed to a suspended imposition of sentence and five years probation plus court costs but also ordered Sweat to serve 30 days shock time, have no contact with the teens involved, complete a substance abuse evaluation and complete any treatment recommended, have no contact with anyone 16 or younger except for close relatives or work purposes, and observe a 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew except while actively working, going to or from home for work, or being with a parent.
“The fact that you’re 18 is the only reason I’ll accept this plea agreement,” Prokes said. “I’m trying to send a message to other people.”
Meckessa H. Rice, 39, of McFall was sentenced to three years probation for two counts of Class C felony passing bad checks. Rice had already paid restitution for the bad checks.