OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
MATT J. WHITWORTH
Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106
JUNE 12, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
26 DEFENDANTS INDICTED FOR SMUGGLING COCAINE
FROM MEXICO TO DISTRIBUTE IN KC
DRUG-TRAFFICKING ORGANIZATION CHARGED
IN MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR CONSPIRACIES
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Matt J. Whitworth, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that 26 defendants have been indicted by a federal grand jury, in two separate but related cases involving one of the largest cocaine trafficking rings in the Kansas City area. Operation Blockbuster, a multi-agency investigation, uncovered evidence of a drug-trafficking organization that was smuggling hundreds of kilograms of cocaine worth millions of dollars from Mexico to distribute in Kansas City, Mo.
“Operation Blockbuster is an ongoing investigation into what is alleged to be a significant drug-trafficking organization,” Whitworth said. “Thanks to the hard work and cooperative effort of our law enforcement partners, we have seized large quantities of cocaine and marijuana, and millions of dollars in alleged drug proceeds. This successful operation dealt a significant blow to cocaine trafficking in the metropolitan area.”
Both indictments were returned under seal by a federal grand jury on Thursday, June 11, 2009. The indictments, which allege drug-trafficking conspiracies in operation since January 2007, were unsealed and made public today upon the arrests and initial court appearances of several co-defendants.
“By pooling our information and our resources, ICE and its law enforcement partners succeeded in dismantling what is alleged to be a large cocaine distribution ring,” said James Gibbons, acting special agent in charge of ICE’s Office of Investigations in Chicago. “ICE is committed to investigating and arresting those who traffic illicit drugs in our communities.” Based in Chicago, Gibbons oversees a six-state area, including Kansas and Missouri.
The federal indictments allege that Alejandro S. Corredor, also known as “Lou Lou,” “Rolo,” and “Alex,” 34, a citizen of Colombia residing in Kansas City, Mo., purchased large quantities of cocaine from Martin Gaspar Castaneda-Morales, also known as “Flaco,” 35, of Juarez, Mexico. The cocaine was smuggled from Mexico and distributed in Kansas City. Conspirators would then collect the proceeds of their narcotics sales and package the money for shipment back to Mexico to pay off drug debts and to purchase more cocaine.
On Oct. 7, 2008, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at a Kansas City residence and recovered 46 bundles of cocaine and approximately $151,000. They also discovered a drug ledger which allegedly showed that – during a four-month time period – more than 800 kilograms of cocaine was distributed, resulting in more than $10 million of drug proceeds. A suitcase containing 13 bundles of cocaine was found in a closet of the residence. The suitcase carried a Delta Airline name tag bearing Corredor’s name. A total of more than 83 kilograms of cocaine was recovered.
The indictment also alleges instances in which Corredor and Castaneda-Morales attempted to transport large sums of money from Kansas City to Mexico.
Castaneda-Morales allegedly ordered a driver to come to Kansas City to meet with Corredor to load and drive back to Mexico with money that Corredor owed to Castaneda-Morales for cocaine. A Toyota minivan driven by co-defendant Carlos I. Portillo, 34, a citizen of Mexico residing in Kansas City, Kan., was stopped last month in Wichita, Kan., after leaving a residence in Kansas City. Approximately 70 bundles of cash totaling $653,918 was removed from the minivan.
On May 16, 2009, co-defendant Cesar Perez-Rodriguez, 44, a citizen of Mexico whose address is unknown, allegedly acting as a courier for Castaneda-Morales, met Corredor at a Kansas City, Kan., hotel. Two days later, Perez-Rodriguez and other co-defendants were observed loading a white Kitchenware box in the luggage compartment of a bus at a bus stop in Topeka, Kan., bound for El Paso, Texas. While in El Paso, Perez-Rodriguez was stopped at the border and a vehicle in which he was riding was searched. Recovered from the vehicle in the same white Kitchenware box were eight vacuum-sealed bundles of cash totaling $50,080.
Law enforcement officers seized $1,619,660 from co-defendant Fernando Loya, 50, address unknown, on March 9, 2009. According to the indictment, agents were conducting surveillance at a Kansas City residence that day when they observed co-defendants Juan Rodriguez-Gonzales, 37, and Jose Carreon, 29, both citizens of Mexico, Charlie (last name and address unknown) and other unknown Hispanic males appear to load items inside a Jeep Cherokee. The men took the door panels off the Jeep, placed items into the Jeep, then put the door panels back on the Jeep, the indictment says. The Jeep was taken to another location, then driven away by Loya. Loya was later stopped by a trooper with the Missouri State Highway Patrol while traveling through Cass County, Mo. During a search of the Jeep and a Nissan that was being towed, the trooper recovered 163 bundles of cash.
U.S. v. Corredor, et al
Alejandro S. Corredor, also known as “Lou Lou,” “Rolo,” and “Alex,” 34, a citizen of Colombia residing in Kansas City, Mo., and his wife, Cindi M. Corredor, 28, a U.S. citizen, Vincent E. Charles, also known as “Zeno” or “Z,” 40, Adrian Dunn, also known as “A.D.,” 35, Roy D. Murray, also known as “Wonderbread,” 35, Danny R. Moore, 52, Cheo D. Miles, 36, Dennis Westbrook, also known as “Westcrook,” 30, Daoud L. Homes, also known as “Bootsie,” 30, Nicholas L. Lathen, also known as “Sleeze,” 23, and Sean Charles, also known as “Slim,” 25, all of Kansas City, Mo., Terrance M. Harris, also known as “T-Nutty,” 23, of Independence, Mo., Kendall L. Howard, 30, of Kansas City, Kan., and Delondo Bellamy, also known as “Lando,” 43, of Oakland, Calif., were charged in a single-count indictment with participating in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana.
U.S. v. Castaneda-Morales, et al
Martin Gaspar Castaneda-Morales, also known as “Flaco,” 35, of Juarez, Mexico, Arturo Gonzalez-Gonzalez, also known as “Chango,” 38, and Rafael Carranza-Vejar, 36, both citizens of Mexico residing in Kansas City, Mo., Carlos I. Portillo, 34, a citizen of Mexico residing in Kansas City, Kan., Juan Rodriguez-Gonzalez, 37, Joel Guevara, also known as “Bebe” or “Raul,” 28, Cesar Perez-Rodriguez, 44, Jose Carron, 29, and Rene, also known as “Tio” (age and last name unknown), all citizens of Mexico whose addresses are unknown, Fernando Loya, 50, address unknown, and Charlie (last name, age and address unknown), were charged in a six-count indictment with participating in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana. The indictment also charges Rodriguez-Gonzalez, Gonzalez-Gonzalez, Carranza-Vejar, Carreon and Loya with illegally entering the United States.
Whitworth cautioned that the charges contained in these indictments 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.
These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph M. Marquez and Brent Venneman. They were investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Drug Enforcement Administration, IRS-Criminal Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department.
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