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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Missouri
Teresa A. Moore, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Jury Convicts Ionia Man of Meth Conspiracy

Faces at Least 25 Years in Prison

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – An Ionia, Mo., man was convicted at trial today for his role in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Pettis County, Mo.

Thomas W. Pitts, 35, was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and two counts of distributing methamphetamine.

Evidence introduced during the trial indicated that Pitts participated in the drug-trafficking conspiracy from Feb. 18 to Nov. 16, 2021.

On Oct. 6, 2021, a confidential informant purchased approximately 28.8 grams of methamphetamine from Pitts for $700. An undercover federal agent was also present at Pitts’s residence during the transaction. On Oct. 28, 2021, the confidential informant and the undercover federal agent went to Pitts’s residence again. The confidential informant purchased approximately 57.6 grams of methamphetamine from Pitts for $900. Both of the transactions were recorded.

On Nov. 16, 2021, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Pitts’s residence and seized ammunition, a small amount of methamphetamine, and items associated with drug distribution.

Following the presentation of evidence, the jury in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo., deliberated for one hour and 10 minutes before returning guilty verdicts to U.S. District Judge Stephen R. Bough, ending a trial that began Monday, March 27.

Under federal statutes, Pitts is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in federal prison without parole due to his prior drug-trafficking convictions, up to a sentence of life in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Byron H. Black and Gregg R. Coonrod. It was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the St. Clair County, Mo., Sheriff’s Office, the Henry County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, and the Mid-Missouri Drug Task Force.

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