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Five indicted on charges involving drug conspiracy

Posted on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 12:49 pm

According to the United States Attorney’s Office in St. Louis, five men were indicted on Tuesday for their alleged conspiracy and distribution of large quantities of cocaine and methamphetamine in Audrain County. Travis and Cody McDonald are also charged with growing over 100 marijuana plants between September 2007 and the present time, and laundering the proceeds of the illegal activity.
The defendants were arrested by agents Monday.
• Travis Eugene McDonald, 35, of Montgomery City, Mo.;
• Cody Wayne McDonald, 30, of Vandalia, Mo.:
• William Ray Laird, 53, of Vandalia, Mo.;
• Russell Dale Gay, 36, of Columbia, Mo.; and
• John Wesley Harrison, 34, of Annada, Mo.
If convicted, each count of conspiracy to distribute in excess of 500 grams of cocaine and conspiracy to manufacture in excess of 100 marijuana plants carries a penalty range of five to 40 years in prison and or fines up to $5 million; conspiracy to distribute in excess of 500 grams of methamphetamine carries a penalty range of 10 years to life in prison. Money laundering carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and/or fines up to $500,000. In determining the actual sentences, a judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service, the East Central Missouri Drug Task Force, the North Eastern Missouri Drug Task Force, Missouri Highway Patrol, Audrain County, Lincoln County and Warren County Sheriff’s Departments, St. Louis, Troy and Jefferson City Missouri Police Departments.  Assistant United States Attorney John T. Davis is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
As is always the case, charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt.
Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.