SPRINGFIELD, MO (STL.News) A Springfield, Missouri, woman pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to her role in a conspiracy that distributed at least 4.5 kilograms of pure methamphetamine in Laclede County, Missouri.

Deidra C. Mathews, 44, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to participating in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Laclede County from Nov. 28, 2018, to May 21, 2019.  She remains in federal custody pending a sentencing hearing.

By pleading guilty today, Mathews admitted she distributed approximately nine pounds of methamphetamine between February and April 2019. She received one pound of methamphetamine each week from a co-conspirator, for which she paid $4,500. The overall conspiracy involved the distribution of at least 4.5 kilograms of pure methamphetamine.

Mathews was arrested on April 22, 2019, when a Laclede County sheriff’s deputy stopped a vehicle in which she was a passenger.  Co-defendant Rondell D. Hodges, 36, of Lebanon, Missouri, was driving a Chevrolet Malibu with expired license plates on Highway OO near Lebanon.  Hodges was unable to produce proof of insurance or a driver’s license.  Both Mathews and Hodges had warrants for their arrest.  Mathews attempted to run from the deputy, but was apprehended after a short foot chase.  Deputies found multiple bags of methamphetamine, totaling 501.46 grams, that had been thrown from the vehicle.

Hodges has also pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing.

Under federal statutes, Mathews and Hodges each are 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.  Sentencing hearings will be scheduled after the completion of presentence investigations by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica R. Keller and Assistant U.S. Attorney Byron Black. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Lake Area Narcotics Enforcement Group, the Laclede County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, and the Lebanon, Mo., Police Department.

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