U.S. District Court in Springfield.

A West Plains man was sentenced in federal court Friday for his role in a conspiracy to distribute large amounts of methamphetamine in Howell, Greene and Texas counties.

Luis Ortiz Rodriguez, 39, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Stephen R. Bough to 20 years and 10 months in federal prison without parole.

On Sept. 7, 2021, Rodriguez pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Howell, Greene and Texas counties from Dec. 31, 2015, to June 21, 2019. Rodriguez also pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime.

Rodriguez admitted that he met co-defendant Jose I. Gonzales, 39, of West Plains, after being released from prison in March 2018. Rodriguez and Gonzales agreed to use Rodriguez’s source of supply and Gonzales’s connections in West Plains to distribute methamphetamine. Rodriguez paid $3,000 per pound to purchase methamphetamine in Oklahoma, which he transported to Missouri for distribution.

Gonzales was earlier sentenced to 10 years in prison. Rodriguez is the seventh defendant to plead guilty and be sentenced in the case.

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