Judge sentences South Gate, California, man to 20 years for methamphetamine charges

CAPE GIRARDEAU – United States District Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh, Jr., sentenced Dexter Elcan to 20 years in prison today. The 36-year-old South Gate, California, resident pleaded guilty, in June, for possession with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.

Officers from the Southeast Missouri Drug Task Force learned that Dexter Elcan was shipping methamphetamine from a United Parcel Service (“UPS”) store in California to people in Southeast Missouri.  Then he would either have those people distribute the drugs or he would fly to Missouri, distribute the drugs, wire the drug proceeds back to California, then fly back home.

On the morning of July 11, 2020, officers learned that Elcan was traveling to Missouri and that he had shipped a package by UPS from California to a residence in Poplar Bluff, Missouri.  The officers watched the UPS delivery person put the package on the porch.  Dexter Elcan came out of the home, picked up the package and carried it back into the home.  Officers went to the home and knocked on a door as Elcan ran out another door and tried to escape.  Elcan was captured a short distance away while trying to break his cell phone and burn the UPS receipt for mailing the package. Officers recovered the package delivered to the home that Elcan picked up.  The package held 446 grams of a mixture or substance containing methamphetamine.  That quantity of methamphetamine is consistent with distribution and not for personal use.

The district court heard testimony at the sentencing hearing as to the extent of Elcan’s crime.  After hearing that evidence, the Court determined that Elcan was a leader/organizer of his methamphetamine sales and that he distributed over 100 pounds of methamphetamine over the course of his criminal conduct.

The case was investigated by the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Southeast Missouri Drug Task Force, and the Poplar Bluff Police Department.  Assistant United States Attorney Keith D. Sorrell handled the prosecution for the government.

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