Overland Park Woman, Christine Little Wood, convicted for her role in a multi-defendant drug-trafficking conspiracy with ties to the Sinaloa drug cartel
KANSAS CITY, MO (STL.News) – An Overland Park, Kansas woman has been convicted by a federal trial jury for her role in a multi-defendant drug-trafficking conspiracy with ties to the Sinaloa drug cartel in Mexico.
Christine Little Wood, 61, was found guilty of participating in a conspiracy to distribute heroin from Jan. 1, 2010, to April 18, 2017, and of participating in a money-laundering conspiracy. In addition to the criminal conspiracies, Little Wood was found guilty of using a cell phone to aid the drug-trafficking conspiracy and of maintaining a residence for the distribution and use of heroin.
In addition to Little Wood, 20 co-defendants have pleaded guilty and three have been sentenced in this case. Dennis McLallen, 66, and his wife, and Pamela Gaddy-McLallen, 65, both of Overland Park, were in direct contact with Mexico-based heroin and methamphetamine suppliers and Kansas City-based suppliers. They received multi-ounce levels of black tar heroin from their suppliers, which they and other conspirators repackaged into ounce and gram levels for distribution by Little Wood and others.
McLallen admitted that he was responsible for the distribution of more than 10 kilograms of heroin. Conspirators distributed at least 500 ounces (more than 14 kilograms) of heroin, with an average sale price of $1,700 per ounce, for a total of $850,000.
In September 2016, investigators searched vehicles and residences and seized heroin, methamphetamine, prescription drugs, more than $200,000 in bulk cash, a load vehicle with hidden compartments, drug ledgers, drug packaging, drug scales, firearms, ammunition, a bullet proof vest, and various other drug trafficking related items. Little Wood’s son, a co-defendant in this case, distributed and used heroin in her residence.
McLallen and Gaddy-McLallen each pleaded guilty to their roles in the drug-trafficking and money-laundering conspiracies and to a conspiracy to use firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking. McLallen was sentenced on April 18, 2018, to 15 years in federal prison without parole. Gaddy-McLallen died of natural causes while awaiting sentencing.
Co-defendant Kevin Fletcher,30, of Kansas City, Missouri was sentenced to nine years and two months in federal prison without parole. Co-defendant Sterling Cline, 38, of Kansas City, Missouri was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison without parole. Several co-defendants remain fugitives from justice.
Following the presentation of evidence, the jury in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Missouri deliberated for about four hours before returning the guilty verdicts to U.S. District Judge Stephen R. Bough on Friday, Feb. 22, 2019, ending a trial that began Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019.
Under federal statutes, Little Wood is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of life in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bruce Rhoades and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean T. Foley. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI and the Jackson County Drug Task Force.