Joplin man enters plea deal for trafficking drugs through the mail

Christopher L. Meister pleaded guilty to possession with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of meth and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

Through the agreement, officials dropped a charge of unlawful transport of firearms.

On February 8th, 2019, the Ozarks Drug Enforcement Team (ODETS) got information indicating that large amounts of meth were being shipped through the USPS from California to a home on West Bell Center Road in Joplin, Missouri.

The ODET detective requested help from a USPS inspector, who determined that since January 1st, 2019, 18 packages had been sent from California to the address on West Bell Center Road.

Two days later the package arrived in Joplin and authorities, with the help of K9 Bolt, conducted an open-air sniff around the package. K9 Bolt gave a positive alert to the odor of narcotics emitting from the package, according to police.

Detectives got a state search warrant for the home on West Belle Center Road. The USPS inspector then delivered the package and was met in the driveway by Meister, who took the package and carried it inside. SWAT then executed the search warrant, found the package and secured the home.

A detective opened the package and found 10 cellophane-wrapped, vacuum-sealed packages of meth. The packages weighed a total of about 4,798 grams (about 10 pounds). Authorities also found several firearms and a large amount of different kinds of ammunition.