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Head of Joplin drug ring sentenced for homicide

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JOPLIN, Mo.– A man already imprisoned for leading a drug distribution ring has been sentenced to another 22 years in prison for a Joplin man’s death.

Jose D. Cazares was sentenced Monday after entering an Alford plea to second-degree murder and armed criminal action. He got the same sentence last week for leading the drug conspiracy.

The Joplin Globe reports 30-year-old Joshua Olson was shot in the head in 2006 after confronting Cazares and his brother about stolen wheel rims.

Cazares fled and lived for several years along the U.S.-Mexico border, crossing between Brownsville, Texas, and Matamoros, Mexico. He was captured in 2011.

In 2013, Cazares and his parents were indicted along with 15 others in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in the Jasper County area.