Missouri News: Joplin Man, Keith K. Koile, Sentenced to 25 Years for Meth, Firearm

SPRINGFIELD, MO (STL.News) – A Joplin, Missouri man was sentenced in federal court today for illegally possessing more than 1.4 kilograms of methamphetamine and a firearm.

Keith K. Koile, 34, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to 25 years in federal prison without parole.

On Aug. 29, 2018, Koile pleaded guilty to possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute, to possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime, and to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

According to court documents, a confidential informant who had traveled with Koile on multiple occasions to Oklahoma City, Okla., to obtain methamphetamine, told investigators that Koile had agreed to deliver two pounds of methamphetamine to him. The confidential informant met Koile at a residence in Lawton, Kan., then followed him to the Cherokee Casino in Grove, Okla. While the confidential informant waited, Koile left to pick up the methamphetamine; when Koile returned, he placed a black backpack in the back seat of the confidential informant’s vehicle and got in the front passenger’s seat. They left the casino, traveling east on Interstate 44 towards Springfield, Mo.

A Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper stopped the vehicle for speeding in Lawrence County, Mo. The trooper ordered the confidential informant, who was driving, to get out of the vehicle. He complied, but Koile refused. The trooper observed Koile making furtive movements by reaching under the passenger seat. Koile then got out of the vehicle and began to walk towards the front of the vehicle, refusing to comply with commands to get on the ground; the trooper took Koile to the ground.

The trooper searched the vehicle and found a loaded Springfield Armory .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol underneath the passenger seat where Koile was reaching. The backpack contained approximately 1,416 grams of methamphetamine, which was 99 percent pure, and drug paraphernalia.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Koile has a prior felony conviction for being a drug user in possession of a firearm.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nhan D. Nguyen. It was investigated by the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Ozarks Drug Enforcement Team.