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Butler County man sentenced to life imprisonment on meth charge

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Dennis Ray Capps, 38, of Poplar Bluff, Mo., was sentenced to life imprisonment on one felony count of possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. He appeared yesterday before United States District Judge Audrey Fleissig.

Capps was stopped by the Missouri State Highway Patrol near the Sam A. Baker State Park in Wayne County Missouri on July 28, 2011. He was arrested on an active warrant, and a search of his car resulted in the discovery of six ounces of high grade methamphetamine which was concealed in the vehicle. Capps admitted to the officers that he had been selling methamphetamine by the ounce and that the drugs recovered was what remained of a half pound of methamphetamine which Capps had received from his supplier. Capps stated that he had been dealing with the supplier for about a year, obtaining up to two pounds of methamphetamine at one time.

Capps was convicted following a jury trial on May 30, 2012 in the United States District Court in Cape Girardeau. Capps had previously been convicted of two previous felony drug offenses. In 2002, Capps was convicted in the Circuit Court of Iron County, Missouri for manufacturing methamphetamine and sentenced to eight years in the Missouri Department of Corrections. Capps was also convicted in 2002 in Iron County of the felony of possession of methamphetamine and sentenced to seven years in the Missouri Department of Corrections. The possession of methamphetamine offense occurred while Capps was on bond for the manufacturing offense. Because Capps had two prior felony drug convictions, and the federal offense involved more than 50 grams of methamphetamine (the Court held that Capps was actually responsible for possessing more than 900 grams of methamphetamine), Capps faced a mandatory minimum sentence of life imprisonment.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol, the SEMO Drug Task Force and the Drug Enforcement Administration investigated this case. Special Assistant United States Attorney Tim J. Willis and Assistant United States Attorney Larry H. Ferrell handled the prosecution for the Government.

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