For Immediate Release
Springfield Man Sentenced to 12 Years for Heroin Trafficking, Numerous Illegal Firearms
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Springfield, Missouri, man was sentenced in federal court today for illegally possessing heroin to distribute and illegally possessing 10 firearms.
William C. Merriweather, 37, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to 12 years in federal prison without parole.
On Sept. 4, 2019, Merriweather pleaded guilty to one count of participating in a conspiracy to distribute heroin in Greene County, Missouri, from July 14 to Dec. 14, 2017, and to one count of possessing firearms in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime.
On Dec. 14, 2017, Springfield police officers executed a search warrant at Merriweather’s residence. Merriweather admitted that he flushed several grams of heroin down the toilet while officers were attempting to enter. Officers found 7.39 grams of heroin inside a purse hanging in the bedroom closet. On the floor of the closet, officers found a loaded Armi Fratelli Tanfoglio 9mm semi-automatic pistol.
Also inside the bedroom, leaning against a bedroom wall, officers found a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun, a Walther .22-caliber semi-automatic rifle, and a Mossberg .22-caliber semi-automatic rifle. On the left side of the bed near the headboard, officers found a loaded Taurus .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol, a loaded Hi-Point .40-caliber semi-automatic pistol, a loaded (and stolen) Glock 9mm semi-automatic pistol, a loaded Kel-Tec 9mm semi-automatic pistol, and two loaded Taurus .25-caliber semi-automatic pistols with defaced serial numbers.
Merriweather admitted to officers that he had been making one or two trips per week to buy 20 to 24 grams of heroin on each trip, for the last four to five months. He purchased the heroin for $100 per gram and sold it for $150 per gram.
Merriweather has five prior felony convictions for possessing cocaine, two prior felony convictions for possessing heroin, and a prior felony conviction for burglary.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nhan D. Nguyen. It was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Springfield, Mo., Police Department.
Project Safe Neighborhoods
The U.S. Attorney’s Office is partnering with federal, state, and local law enforcement to specifically identify criminals responsible for significant violent crime in the Western District of Missouri. A centerpiece of this effort is Project Safe Neighborhoods, a program that brings together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make neighborhoods safer for everyone. Project Safe Neighborhoods is an evidence-based program that identifies the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develops comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, Project Safe Neighborhoods focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.
This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at