A pair of Barry County men have been indicted on federal drug charges involving a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.
Jose Serrano-Rodriguez, 38, of Purdy, and Ramon Hernandez-Pacheco, 27, of Monett, were charged in a five-count indictment that was returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Springfield last Wednesday.
That indictment was unsealed and made public upon the arrests and initial court appearances of the defendants, according to Bradley J. Schlozman, United States attorney for the Western District of Missouri.
The first count of the indictment alleges that Serrano-Rodriguez and Hernandez-Pacheco participated in a conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine from July to Aug. 16 in Barry County.
The second count charges Serrano-Rodriguez with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute on July 27 in Barry County. Count three of the indictment alleges that both men were in possession of more than 500 grams of methamphetamine with intent to distribute on July 27 in Barry County.
Counts Four and Five of the federal indictment contend that Serrano-Rodriguez was also in possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute on Aug. 15 and 16 in Barry County. The grand jury indictment also seeks the forfeiture of property derived from the proceeds of the alleged offenses. Specific property includes $6,020 in cash seized by law enforcement officers on July 27, 2006, $6,690 seized by law enforcement officers on Aug. 15 and a 1997 Chevrolet Corvette.
Serrano-Rodriguez and Hernandez-Pacheco would also be required to forfeit to the government $24,094 seized from Hernandez-Pacheco's residence on July 27.
Both Serrano-Rodriguez and Hernandez-Pacheco are citizens of Mexico with lawful permanent residence status in the U.S.
The case against the two Barry County men is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David P. Rush. It was investigated by the Southwest Missouri Drug Task Force and the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.