Man sentenced in large southwest Missouri meth distribution

Arrested while trying to buy 2 pounds of meth
Man sentenced in large southwest Missouri meth distribution

After several legal delays, the leader of one of southwest Missouri’s largest meth distribution networks has been sentenced to 27 years in federal prison.

Forty-nine-year-old Kenneth Friend was sentenced Monday. Prosecutors say Friend was tied to 99 pounds of meth that were brought into southwest Missouri.

The Springfield News-Leader reports Friend had agreed to a plea deal months ago that would have sent him to prison for 30 years.

But before that sentencing hearing could be held, Congress passed legislation that changed how prior drug convictions affect a defendant’s sentence.

Friend ended up accepting a second plea deal in April.

Prosecutors say Friend was arrested in November 2014 while trying to buy 2 pounds of meth. Federal investigators ultimately implicated 28 other people in the meth distribution ring.

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