News and Press Releases

Drug Indictment Targets
Alleged Cocaine Trafficking Ring in Wichita

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

April 12, 2012

WICHITA, KAN. – Fourteen defendants are named in a 63-count indictment unsealed in U.S. District Court in Wichita alleging the leaders of a cocaine smuggling operation laundered more than $174,000 in drug proceeds by purchasing real estate and vehicles, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today.

The indictment alleges a drug trafficking organization was active in Wichita from October 30,2010, to April 2012. The alleged leader of the conspiracy, Juvenal Fernandez, Jr., 30, Wichita, is alleged to have conspired with his father, co-defendant Juvenal G. Fernandez, to launder the drug funds.

The indictment alleges that Juvenal Fernandez, Jr., was released from prison to the Wichita Work Release Center on Oct. 12, 2005. He was allowed to leave the facility during the day and required to return at night. Beginning in 2006, Juvenal G. Fernandez received wire transfers of money from unknown sources in Mexico that were deposited into his personal bank account at Emprise Bank in Wichita. Juvenal G. Fernandez used the money, which the indictment alleges was cash proceeds from Juvenal Fernandez’s illegal drug distribution, to purchase real estate properties.

Many of the properties were titled in the name of Juvenal G. Fernandez, although Juvenal Fernandez Jr. continued to exercise control over the assets and received the profits from the sale of the real estate. The indictment alleges drug proceeds were used to purchase 2504 N. Waco, 2760 N. Arkansas, 1833 S. Market , 2345 N. Salina and 3377 N. Wild Thicket.

Charged in the indictment are the following:

Juvenal Fernandez, Jr., 30, Wichita, Kan.: one count of conspiracy to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, 27 counts of using a telephone in furtherance of drug trafficking, one count of unlawful possession of a firearm after a felony conviction, one count of unlawful possession of a firearm after a felony conviction, one count of distributing cocaine, one count of unlawful possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, one count of conspiracy to distribute 4973 grams of cocaine, one count of distributing more than 500 grams of cocaine, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, two counts of money laundering, three counts of unlawful monetary transactions and one count of bank fraud.
Aaron G. Gomez, 32, Wichita, Kan.,: One count of conspiracy to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, one count of distributing 26 grams of cocaine, and three counts of using a telephone in furtherance of drug trafficking.
Kristian E. Fernandez, 27, Wichita, Kan.: One count of conspiracy to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, seven counts of using a telephone in furtherance of drug trafficking, one count of distributing 26 grams of cocaine and one count of distributing 112 grams of cocaine.
Mario Cantu, 29, Wichita, Kan., one count of conspiracy to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, three counts of using a telephone in furtherance of drug trafficking,
Rito Mejia, Jr., 55, Wichita, Kan., one count of conspiracy to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, and three counts of using a telephone in furtherance of drug trafficking.
Francisco Cobos, 26, Wichita, Kan., one count of conspiracy to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine.
Juvenal G. Fernandez, 56, Wichita, Kan., one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, six counts of money laundering and one count of bank fraud.
Alejandro De La Torre-Barrios, 22, Wichita, Kan., one count of distributing 26 grams of cocaine and one count of distributing 112 grams of cocaine,
Gregory Schmidt II, 26, Wichita, Kan., one count of distributing 26 grams of cocaine and one count of distributing 112 grams of cocaine.
Desmond Yankey, 27, Wichita, Kan., one count of distributing 26 grams of cocaine and one count of distributing 112 grams of cocaine.
Maria Machuca, 44, Wichita, Kan., one count of conspiracy to distribute 4,973 grams of cocaine, one count of possession of 4,973 grams of cocaine, 16 counts of using a telephone in furtherance of drug trafficking and one count of possession with intent to distribute of 5.45 kilograms of marijuana.
Daniel Carrero, 19, Amarillo, Texas, one count of conspiracy to distribute 4,973 grams of cocaine, one count of possession with intent to distribute 4,973 grams of cocaine and three counts of using a telephone in furtherance of drug trafficking,
Mario Machuca, 35, Amarillo, Texas, one count of conspiracy to distribute 4,973 grams of cocaine and three counts of using a telephone in furtherance of drug trafficking.
Sandra Lozoria, 24, Wichita, Kan., one count of possession with intent to distribute 5.45 kilograms of marijuana and two counts of using a telephone in furtherance of drug trafficking.

Upon conviction, the alleged crimes carry the following penalties:
Conspiracy: Not less than 10 years and not more than life and a fine up to $4 million.
Using a telephone in furtherance of drug trafficking: A maximum penalty of four years and a fine up to $30,000 on each count.
Unlawful possession of a firearm or ammunition after a felony conviction: A maximum penalty of 10 years and a fine up to $250,000 on each count.
Distributing 55 grams of cocaine: A maximum penalty of 20 years and a fine up to $1 million.
Unlawful possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking: Not less than five years and not more than life and a fine up to $250,000.
Distributing 26 grams of cocaine: A maximum penalty of 20 years and a fine up to $1 million.
Distributing 112 grams of cocaine: A maximum penalty of 20 years and a fine up to $1 million.
Conspiracy to distribute 4,973 grams of cocaine: Not less than 10 years and not more than life and a fine up to $4 million.
Possession with intent to distribute 4,973 grams of cocaine: Not less than five years and not more than 40 years and a fine up to $2 million.
Conspiracy to distribute 5.45 kilograms of marijuana: A maximum penalty of five years and a fine up to $250,000.
Distributing more than 500 grams of cocaine: A maximum penalty of 20 years and a fine up to $1 million.
Conspiracy to commit money laundering: A maximum penalty of 20 years and a fine up to $500,000.
Money laundering: A maximum penalty of 20 years and a fine up to $500,000.
Engaging in unlawful monetary transactions: A maximum penalty of 10 years and a fine up to $250,000.
Bank fraud; A maximum penalty of 30 years and a fine up to $250,000.

The Drug Enforcement Administration, the Wichita Police Department and the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Smith and Assistant U.S. Attorney Mona Furst are prosecuting.

 

 

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