On Monday, November 27, 2017, GARY DEAN PHILP (DOB: 7/10/65) of Branson, Missouri, was found guilty of the felonies of distribution of a controlled substance, possession of controlled substance with intent to distribute, and delivery of drug paraphernalia following a jury trial. A nine (9) man, three (3) woman jury deliberated for a little less than an hour before reaching its verdict. Taney County Circuit Judge Tony W. Williams set sentencing in the case for March 20, 2018, at 9:00 a.m.

Assistant Prosecutors Tony Brown and Chris Lebeck presented evidence that on August 4, 2016, an officer with the COMET Drug Task Force received a tip that PHILP was selling methamphetamine out of his hotel room at the Plantation Inn, in Branson. The officer made contact with PHILP at the hotel and was sold what was purported to be one (1) gram of methamphetamine for $100.00. The substance was confirmed to be 0.6 gram of methamphetamine by a criminalist at the Missouri State Highway Patrol Crime Lab.

Ordinarily, distribution of a controlled substance and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance would be a class B felony, punishable by between five (5) and fifteen (15) years in prison. However, PHILP was found to be a prior and persistent felony offender – having committed two (2) felonies at different times – enhancing his range of punishment for these offenses to up to thirty (30) years or life in prison. Delivery of drug paraphernalia carries a maximum, enhanced punishment of seven (7) years in prison. PHILP is facing a maximum of sixty-seven (67) years in the Department of Corrections, relating to these crimes.

Furthermore, at the time this offense was committed, PHILP was on felony probation for two (2) counts of tampering with a motor vehicle in the first degree and aggravated stalking, and is currently serving a ten (10) year sentence for those offenses – his probation having been revoked.