Major drug bust in Missouri ends with guilty plea in federal court

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Missouri – A 49-year-old man, Mark Edmundson, entered a guilty plea in federal court yesterday, acknowledging his involvement in drug trafficking and illegal firearms possession.

Arrest and Discovery

The incident that led to Edmundson’s arrest unfolded on January 2, 2023, when St. Joseph police officers located him at a local gas station. The arrest was a result of a tip-off from the Brown County, Kansas, Sheriff’s Department, which had identified Edmundson in connection with a recent shooting incident. An attempt to flee resulted in Edmundson reversing his SUV into a police patrol vehicle. The officer quickly maneuvered his patrol car to pin the SUV against the building, thwarting any escape attempt. Edmundson then exited his vehicle and was taken into custody without further incident.

Upon searching the SUV, officers uncovered a substantial quantity of illegal drugs and firearms. Specifically, they found 25 vacuum-sealed bags containing nearly nine kilograms of methamphetamine on the back seat and two additional bags under the hood with about 901 grams of the substance. The total methamphetamine seized from the vehicle was just over 11 kilograms.

Furthermore, law enforcement discovered an SCCY 9mm handgun placed between the center console and the front passenger seat and a Ruger 9mm handgun in the rear trunk, alongside two zip-lock bags holding approximately 681 grams of methamphetamine.

Read also: Missouri dentist sentenced for failing to report over half a million to IRS

Legal Consequences

Given his criminal history, which includes previous felony convictions for delivering a controlled substance, tampering with a motor vehicle, and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, Edmundson faced severe penalties. As a felon, federal law prohibits him from possessing firearms or ammunition, compounding the charges against him.

Edmundson pleaded guilty to one count of possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute, one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime, and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. These charges bring significant legal repercussions, including a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison with the potential for a life sentence without parole. The actual sentencing will be determined following a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office, with input from the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.

Investigation and Prosecution

This case has been prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon Gibson and involved comprehensive investigations by the St. Joseph, Mo., Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Buchanan County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department. The collaborative effort underscores the commitment of local and federal agencies to combat drug trafficking and firearm-related crimes in the community.

A sentencing hearing for Edmundson will be scheduled to finalize the consequences of his criminal actions, marking the closure of a significant case for the authorities involved.

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