On January 31, 2018, GARY DEAN PHILP d/o/b 7-10-1965, of Branson entered pleas of guilty to the felonies of felon in possession of a firearm, possession of methamphetamine and unlawful use of a weapon and the misdemeanors of possession of marijuana and unlawful use of drug paraphernalia in front of Wright County Associate Circuit Judge Lynette Veenstra. Philp entered his guilty plea without an agreement with the Prosecutor’s Office.

On September 27, 2016, members of the Combined Ozarks Multijurisdicitonal Enforcement Team (COMET) Drug Task Force were conducting a “knock and talk” investigation at the Plantation Inn in Branson. They made contact with Philp and received consent to search his room. As a result of the search, COMET officers found ammunition in the room and methamphetamine, marijuana, paraphernalia and a Bersa Thunder 380CC pistol on his person. Philp is a convicted felon and is prohibited from possessing a firearm.

Judge Veenstra set Philp’s sentencing for April 4, 2018 at 10AM. Philp is facing a maximum possible sentence of thirty seven (37) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections and two (2) years in the Taney County Jail. Philp is currently serving a ten (10) year sentence for violating the terms of probation granted in another case and is awaiting sentencing following a November 2017 jury trial for distribution of methamphetamine.