The identified leader of a southwest Missouri drug ring has been sentenced on conspiracy to distribute drugs and money laundering charges.
Correction: This article has been revised to clarify a reference to a "Quapaw Casino" as the Downstream Casino and Resort in Quapaw, Oklahoma and not The Quapaw Casino in Miami, Oklahoma which is not related to this case in any form.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The so-called kingpin of a Missouri drug ring was sentenced to a 30-year term in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute drugs and money laundering last week.
The drug ring was primarily involved in the distribution of meth out of Mexico in southwest Missouri.
Assistant United States Attorney Randy Eggert said at the Wednesday hearing that Patrick Brigaudin, 54, of Springfield, Mo., was the unquestioned leader of the organization.
Brigaudin was slapped with the federal indictments following an over two-year investigation by authorities.
Brigaudin and three other men were taken into custody on Feb. 29, 2016, after federal agents who had set up surveillance outside Brigadin's house saw a Dodge pickup truck pull into his garage, according to the Associated Press.
Agents found 12 pounds of meth and 6 pounds of heroin in a secret compartment under the bed of the truck, according to the initial complaint.
Since then, authorities have reported drug seizures connected to the ring as a total of 77 pounds of methamphetamine and just over 6 pounds of heroin.
Altogether, 15 people, including Brigaudin, were indicted in the case.
It was also reported by the Springfield News-Leader that prosecutors discovered in their investigation that between January 2009 and April 2015 that Brigaudin had gambled over $10 million at the Downstream Casino in Quapaw, withdrawing approximately $8.4 million from slot machines during that period in a money laundering scheme.
In the filed motion for pretrial detention, Brigaudin's activities at the Downstream Casino in Quapaw are outlined in the arguments presented by prosecutors to designate the defendant as a high potential flight risk, reading in part:
"According to data provided by Downstream Casino Resort in Quapaw, Oklahoma, between January 2009 and April 2015, the defendant put $10,090,461.66 into Downstream slot machines (“coin in”), and withdrew $8,426,293.99 (“coin out”). Given these sums, it is reasonable to conclude that this defendant has the means to flee the jurisdiction of this Court."
Brigaudin pleaded guilty to the conspiracy to distribute meth and money laundering charges and will serve his three-decade sentence without the possibility of parole.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.