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Drug agents bust 2 men, including 'largest cocaine dealer' in Springfield area

March 14, 2011|video report by Sara Forhetz, KY3 News; text from edited news release | sforhetz@ky3.com

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The U.S. attorney's office on Monday charged two men with distributing large amounts of cocaine and crack cocaine in the Springfield area.  One witness quoted in a detective's affidavit described Carlous Horton and Christopher Holmes as operating the largest cocaine/crack cocaine operation in the area.

Horton, 35, of Nixa, and Holmes, 25, of Springfield, were charged in separate criminal complaints in U.S. District Court.   Law officers arrested both of them on Monday morning after raids on expensive homes in Springfield and Nixa, and they made their first appearances in federal court on Monday afternoon.

According to the affidavits, Horton was the leader of a drug-trafficking organization that has been importing multi-kilogram shipments of cocaine from Chicago, Ill., and/or Dallas, Texas, on a monthly basis for the past two years.  Investigtors believe the shipments, averaging two kilograms per trip -- about the size of two standard bricks -- were brought to Springfield by vehicles, commercial bus lines and commercial airlines.  Once the cocaine arrived in Springfield, the affidavits say, the organization processed it and distributed it as either cocaine or crack cocaine.

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One of the affidavits cites a confidential source who describes Horton as the largest cocaine dealer in the Springfield area and said he distributed two or three kilograms of cocaine every two or three weeks.  Investigators believe Holmes was Horton’s main distributor.  The affidavits also report a series of drug transactions that were monitored by law enforcement agents who used a confidential source.

Law enforcement officers executed search warrants at two homes that Horton rents.  Officers seized nine ounces of cocaine, two handguns, and approximately $30,000 from a home at 4788 S. Bellhurst Ave. in Springfield.  Officers also seized approximately 1 ½ kilograms of cocaine from a home at 435 N. Gregg Road in Nixa that used to be the home of one of the Mabes, founding family of The Baldknobbers Show in Branson.  Approximately $69,000 was seized from Horton’s bank accounts.

Law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Holmes’ home on the south side of Springfield and seized approximately nine ounces of cocaine and a handgun.

The Drug Enforcement Administration, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Springfield Police Department investigated this case for more than a year.  They and the Nixa Police Department participated in the execution of the search warrants.

If Holmes and Horton are convicted, they would face prison sentences between 10 years and life, and/or fines up to $4 million.  Holmes was in the Greene County jail on Monday but Horton was in a different jail.  Officers haven't ruled out more arrests and charges.

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