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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


DECEMBER 17, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


LEE’S SUMMIT MAN SENTENCED TO 20 YEARS IN PRISON

FOR $2.8 MILLION HEROIN CONSPIRACY


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Lee’s Summit, Mo., man was among three co-defendants sentenced in federal court today for participating in a multi-million dollar conspiracy to distribute large quantities of heroin.


            Bryant L. Griffin-Bey, also known as Vincent Warren, 43, of Lee’s Summit, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Nanette K. Laughrey this afternoon to 20 years in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Griffin-Bey to forfeit to the government more than $2.8 million, which was derived from heroin trafficking, as well as 16 residential properties in Lee’s Summit, Kansas City and Lone Jack, Mo., a 2002 Mercedes Benz and a 2005 Cadillac Escalade.


            Juan L. Soriano Vargas, 37, of Moreno Valley, Calif., and Judy L. Jenkins, 45, of St. Louis, Mo., were also sentenced in separate hearings this morning. Soriano Vargas was sentenced to federal prison without parole and Jenkins was sentenced to federal prison without parole.


            On Jan. 23, 2008, Griffin-Bey pleaded guilty to his role in a conspiracy to distribute heroin between Aug. 10, 2001, and Aug. 10, 2006. He also pleaded guilty to money laundering, admitting that he was involved in a financial transaction that involved $29,500 from the proceeds of illegal heroin trafficking.


            The heroin conspiracy involved the distribution of multi-kilo quantities of black tar heroin – a particularly potent form of heroin – with a street value of millions of dollars. The year-long investigation resulted in the seizure of approximately 15 pounds of black tar heroin, approximately $202,000 in cash, jewelry valued at approximately $29,000, several vehicles, two pistols and two bulletproof vests.


            Soriano Vargas and Jenkins also pleaded guilty to their involvement in the heroin trafficking conspiracy.


            Four additional co-defendants have been sentenced after pleading guilty to charges contained in the Feb. 8, 2007, federal indictment. Three additional co-defendants have pleaded guilty and await sentencing.


            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Catherine A. Connelly. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and IRS-Criminal Investigation.


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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