News and Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


May 20, 2010

INDICTMENT ALLEGES DRUG DEFENDANT WAS DEPORTED FIVE TIMES SINCE 2005


KANSAS CITY, KAN. – Emigdio Villegas-Cortez, 23, a citizen of Mexico, and Elida Guadalupe Herrera-Morales, 33, a citizen of Mexico, are charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine. In addition, Villegas-Cortez is charged with unlawfully re-entering the United States after having been deported five times – July 29, 2005, Aug. 24, 2007, Dec. 7, 2007, Dec. 10, 2007, and March 5, 2009. Herrera-Morales is charged with unlawfully re-entering the United States after being convicted of an aggravated felony and deported. The crimes are alleged to have occurred March 19, 2010, in Johnson County, Kan.

Upon conviction, the crimes carry the following penalties:
Possession with intent to distribute cocaine: Not less than five years and not more than 40 years and a fine up to $2 million.
Unlawful re-entry after deportation: A maximum penalty of two years and fine up to $250,000.
Unlawful re-entry after conviction for an aggravated felony and deportation: A maximum penalty of 20 years and a fine up to $250,000.

The Drug Enforcement Administration investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sheri McCracken is prosecuting.

OTHER INDICTMENTS



A federal grand jury meeting in Kansas City, Kan., also returned the following indictments:

Laquita Epps-Boyd, 36, Olathe, Kan., Natasha Hammons, 36, Kansas City, Mo., Anthony Beeks, 48, Kansas City, Mo., and Lisa Briscoe, 43, Kansas City, Mo., are charged with conspiracy to commit insurance fraud. The crime is alleged to have occurred April 14, 2003, to June 25, 2004, in Overland Park, Kan.

The indictment alleges Epps-Boyd, Hammons, Beeks and Briscoe conspired to defraud Universal Underwriters Group (UUG) of Overland Park. Epps-Boyd and Hammons worked for UUG. Beeks was Hammons’ ex-husband. Briscoe was the aunt of Hammons’ son. Policies offered by UUG included one that paid $5,000 if a vehicle were stolen or totaled in an accident and another that paid off the loan if a vehicle were stolen. Both polices were available from auto dealers at the time of sale.

The indictment alleges Epps-Boyd issued fraudulent checks payable to Hammons, Beeks and Briscoe, who cashed the checks and shared the proceeds with her. The indictment cites 10 checks totaling more than $33,000.

If convicted, they face a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. The Overland Park Police Department and the U.S. Secret Service investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Oakley is prosecuting.

Erick Meza-Garcia, 33, a citizen of Mexico, is charged with one count of unlawfully transporting undocumented aliens, two counts of aggravated identity theft, and one count of unlawfully re-entering the United States after being convicted of an aggravated felony and deported. The crimes are alleged to have occurred April 23, 2010, in Greeley County, Kan.

Meza-Garcia initially was charged in a criminal complaint filed May 4, 2010. The complaint alleged that he was carrying 10 undocumented aliens in a 1998 Ford Windstar minivan when a Greeley County Sheriff’s officer pulled him over. He gave the officer a false name and date of birth. A records check through the Automated Biometric Identification System (IDENT) identified him as Erick Meza-Garcia. Further records checks revealed he had previously been convicted in U.S. District Court in Tampa, Fla., on charges of illegally transporting undocumented aliens. He had twice before been ordered removed from the United State, once on July 12, 2004, and again on Aug. 8, 2008.

Upon conviction, the crimes carry the following penalties:
Unlawful transportation of illegal aliens: A maximum penalty of five years in federal prison without parole and a fine up to $250,000.
Re-entry after conviction on an aggravated felony and deportation: A maximum penalty of 20 years without parole and a fine up to $250,000.
Aggravated identity theft: A mandatory two years consecutive to other sentences and a fine up to $250,000.

The Greeley County Sheriff’s Department and Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Anderson is prosecuting.

Christopher M. Feaster, 36, Boulder, Colo., Margaret M. Beedles, 28, Boulder, Colo., and Varja A.J. Robinson, 25, Lawrence, Kan., are charged with one count of conspiracy to grow more than 100 marijuana plants and one count of growing more than 100 marijuana plants. In addition, Feaster and Beedles are charged with maintaining a residence at 1713 E. 1500 Road in Lawrence, Kan., for the purpose of growing marijuana. Robinson also is charged with one count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a user of controlled substances. The crimes are alleged to have occurred from Jan. 1, 2009, to Aug. 21, 2009, in Lawrence, Kan.

Upon conviction, the crimes carry the following penalties.
Growing more than 100 marijuana plants: Not less than 5 years and not more than 40 years and a fine up to $2 million.
Maintaining a residence for growing marijuana: Not less than one year and not more than 40 years and a fine up to $1 million.
Unlawful possession of a firearm by a user of controlled substances: A maximum penalty of 10 years and a fine up to $250,000.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Department investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Terra Morehead is prosecuting.

Danny P. Sandefer, 39, Wichita, Kan., Matthew W. Hutchinson, 29, Wichita, Kan., and Wesley L. Mitchell, 28, Wichita, Kan., are charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking. The crimes are alleged to have occurred May 7, 2010, in Wichita.

If convicted, they face a penalty of not less than five years and not more than 40 years and a fine up to $2 million on the methamphetamine charge, and a penalty of not less than five years and a fine up to $250,000 on the firearms charge. The Drug Enforcement Administration investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mona Furst is prosecuting.

Juan Maravilla-Zuniga, 35, a citizen of Mexico, is charged with unlawfully re-entering the United States after being convicted of an aggravated felony and deported. He was found March 28, 2010, in Seward County, Kan.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison without parole and a fine up to $250,000. Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Anderson is prosecuting.

Cesar Barbosa-Dosal, 35, who is not a citizen of the United States, is charged with unlawfully re-entering the United States after being deported. He was found April 20, 2010, in Riley County, Kan.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of two years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Randy Hendershot is prosecuting.

Felipe Manzanarez-Ortega, 23, who is not a citizen of the United States, is charged with unlawfully re-entering the United States after having been deported on Sept. 4, 2009, Sept. 18, 2009, Sept. 28, 2009, and Oct. 23, 2009.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of two years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Rask is prosecuting.

In all cases, defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The indictments merely contain allegations of criminal conduct.

 

 

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