15 defendants indicted for $1 million meth conspiracy
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that 15 defendants have been indicted by a federal grand jury for their roles in a $1 million conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, as well as related charges for identity theft and illegally possessing firearms.
Clark L. Vanosdoll, 33, of Lee’s Summit, Mo., Frank G. Rendon, 42, Steven G. Beedle, 25, Angela D. Hays, 34, Juan C. Molina-Pezina, also known as “Chopis,” 30, Jeffrey S. Lewis, also known as “JJ,” 44, Michael S. McCollum, 60, Mitzi S. Damron, also known as Mitzi Webster, 36, Roxie A. Boling, 28, and Terry E. Deck, 49, all of Kansas City, Mo., Melinda R. Kermer, 25, of Raytown, Mo., Brad D. Webster, 46, of Osceola, Mo., Elmer Guzman-Valencia, 28, and Simon Heredia-Torres, also known as “Luis,” 33, both Mexican nationals with no known address, and Anthony J. Petty, 30, address unknown, were charged in a 20-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Kansas City on Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2010.
The federal indictment alleges that all of the defendants participated in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine from Jan. 1, 2006, to May 31, 2010. According to a forfeiture allegation in the indictment, they obtained a total of $1 million in proceeds from the drug-trafficking conspiracy.
The indictment also alleges that, related to the drug-trafficking conspiracy, Vanosdoll, Kermer, Webster, McCollumn, Damron, Lewis and Heredia-Torres participated in a separate conspiracy to commit aggravated identity theft, produce false identification documents, and make and pass counterfeit checks from Oct. 18, 2006, to Oct. 31, 2008.
Vanosdoll, Webster, Lewis and McCollumn allegedly used stolen personal and financial information to produce false identification documents (primarily counterfeit Missouri driver’s licenses and non-driver identification cards) and counterfeit checks for themselves and others. They used the counterfeit identification cards in order to cash counterfeited and forged checks, which they used to make retail purchases. They would then return or otherwise dispose of the purchased property in exchange for cash or drugs.
According to the indictment, Vanosdoll was in possession of laptop computers, 317 blank checks from another person’s account, 20 checks from a business account, a computer software program called Versa Check and a CD entitled “How to Get New ID.” Webster and Damron were allegedly in possession of computer equipment, numerous counterfeit identifications, blank payroll checks, stolen checkbooks, stolen Social Security cards, the Versa Check software program, and 456 blank checks from multiple commercial and personal accounts.
In addition to the conspiracies, Vanosdoll is charged with one count of possessing equipment to produce false identification documents and one count of aggravated identity theft. Heredia-Torres, Webster and Damron are charged together in one count of aggravated identity theft, and Webster and Damron are charged together in one count of possessing equipment to produce false identification documents.
Guzman-Valencia and Molina-Pezina are charged together in one count of aiding and abetting each other to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine. Molina-Pezina is also charged with three counts related to distributing methamphetamine. Guzman-Valencia is also charged with possessing N, N-Dimethylamphetamine and with illegally reentering the United States after having been deported.
Beedle is charged with two counts related to possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute. He is also charged with possessing a Colt .45-caliber pistol and a Feather Industries .22-caliber rifle in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes, as well one count of being an unlawful drug user in possession of firearms and ammunition.
Lewis is charged with one count of aiding and abetting other to distribute methamphetamine and one count of being a felon in possession of a Mossberg shotgun.
Rendon and Boling are charged together with one count of aiding and abetting each other to possess methamphetamine with the intent to distribute.
Kermer is charged with one count of aiding and abetting others to possess methamphetamine with the intent to distribute.
The federal indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation, which would require all of the defendants to forfeit to the United States any proceeds obtained from the alleged drug-trafficking conspiracy, including a money judgement of $1 million. Another forfeiture allegation would require Vanosdoll, Webster and Damron to forfeit to the government any property used to commit identity theft, including two laptop computers, a computer external hard drive, two digital cameras, a scanner, two printers, and two thumb drives. Vanosdoll would also be required to forfeit a computer tower, two printers, a scanner and a PDA.
Phillips cautioned that the charges contained in this 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. Attorney Rudolph R. Rhodes, IV. It was investigated by the Lee’s Summit, Mo., Police Department, the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department, the Independence, Mo., Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Secret Service, and the North Kansas City, Mo., Police Department, with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations.