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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


JOHN F. WOOD


Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html


OCTOBER 9, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


GRAND JURY RETURNS INDICTMENT FOR TWO MURDERS RELATED TO MARIJUANA CONSPIRACY


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that three defendants have been indicted by a federal grand jury for the murders of two men who were found shot to death near a marijuana growing operation in Daviess County, Mo., in September 2006. Those defendants, along with a fourth man, were also indicted on other drug-trafficking and firearms charges related to a conspiracy to manufacture marijuana.


             Jhanmay Molina-Perez, 28, of Kansas City, Mo., Jorge Alberto Texier Delgado, 36, of Miami, Fla., Jose Beritan, 34, of Chula Vista, Calif., and Frank Diaz, 31, of Miami, Fla., were charged in a seven-count indictment returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Kansas City on Oct.2, 2007. That superseding indictment, which replaces an earlier federal indictment and includes additional murder charges, was unsealed and made public today following the arrests of Molina-Perez, Delgado and Beritan.


             “Today’s indictment is the result of a lengthy and thorough investigation,” Wood said. “I commend the FBI agents who worked so diligently for the past year, and our law enforcement partners at the state and local level whose involvement was instrumental to a successful investigation.”


             The federal indictment alleges that Molina-Perez and Beritan aided and abetted each other and others in the use of a firearm in relation to the drug-trafficking conspiracy, and in so doing, murdered Pedro Corrales on Sept. 6, 2006. The indictment also alleges that Molina-Perez and Diaz aided and abetted each other and others in the use of a firearm in relation to the drug-trafficking conspiracy, and in so doing, murdered Arnaldo Valdes on Sept. 6, 2006.


             According to an affidavit filed in support of the original criminal complaint that was filed against Molina-Perez on Sept. 8, 2006, a neighbor heard the sound of gunshots and discovered the bodies of Corrales and Valdes laying on the ground near the barn. A field behind the residence, the affidavit says, was partially planted in corn in an apparent attempt to conceal approximately 3,000 marijuana plants ranging from 6 to 12 feet tall.


             All four of the co-defendants are charged with participating in a conspiracy to manufacture marijuana from May 1 to Oct. 31, 2006. All four of the co-defendants are also charged with aiding and abetting each other to attempt to manufacture 1,000 or more marijuana plants.


             All four of the co-defendants are charged with aiding and abetting each other to possess firearms in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime. The indictment alleges they were in possession of a Browning 12-gauge shotgun, a Marlin 30/30 lever action rifle, a Marlin semi-automatic .22-caliber rifle, an SKS 7.62X39 rifle, a Remington 20-gauge shotgun and a Cobray CM-119 in furtherance of their conspiracy to manufacture marijuana. All four of the co-defendants are also charged with aiding and abetting each other to possess a Riverside Arms 12-gauge sawed-off shotgun in furtherance of the marijuana conspiracy.


             Molina-Perez is also charged with managing or controlling the Daviess County property near Cameron, Mo., that was used for the marijuana growing operation.


            Wood cautioned that the charges contained in the indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.


            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gregg R. Coonrod and Charles Ambrose. It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Metro Drug Task Force, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Daviess County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Cameron, Mo., Police Department, the St. Joseph, Mo., Police Department, NITRO (the Northwest Missouri Interagency Team Response Operation), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department, with assistance from the Daviess County, Mo., Prosecutor’s Office.

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This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html