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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Kansas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 27, 2013

California Man Sentenced To Life In Federal Prison For Methamphetamine Trafficking In Kansas City, Kan.

KANSAS CITY, KAN. – A California man has been sentenced to life in federal prison for methamphetamine trafficking in Kansas City, Kan., U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today.

Juan Manuel Cortez-Diaz, 36, Modesto, Calif., was convicted in a jury trial in June 2012 on three counts of distributing methamphetamine and two counts of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

During trial, prosecutors presented evidence that Cortez-Diaz handled more than 9 pounds of methamphetamine, including methamphetamine sold to undercover agents, found in his car and seized during a search at a drug stash house at 3046 Washington Ave., in Kansas City, Kan. On May 16, 2011, officers of the Kansas City, Kan., Police Department stopped his car after investigators saw him leave the drug stash house carrying a shoe box. Police seized the shoe box, which contained two pounds of methamphetamine. They seized another seven pounds of methamphetamine from the drug stash house.

Investigators determined that a co-defendant brought the methamphetamine to Kansas City from California.

Co-defendant Juan Carlos Lopez Razo, 36, North Highlands, Calif., is a fugitive from justice.

Grissom commended the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Department of Homeland Security, the Kansas City, Kan., Police Department, Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Oakley and Assistant U.S. Attorney David Zabel for their work on the case.