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Press Release

Last Defendant of the Meth Ring Pleads Guilty

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Missouri

St. Louis - The last of 52 defendants charged in a wide-ranging methamphetamine conspiracy entered a guilty plea before United States District Judge Catherine D. Perry on Wednesday, June 13, 2018.  Defendant Israel Angeles-Moctezuma, also known as “Amigo,” entered his plea on the morning his Federal conspiracy trial was scheduled to begin.  Without benefit of a plea agreement, Angeles-Moctezuma, 41, of Stockton, California, admitted to conspiring with others to transport methamphetamine into the St. Louis Metro area for distribution.  He is scheduled to be sentenced in September 2018.  He faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years, and a maximum sentence of life. 

The Drug Enforcement Administration’s investigation into Angeles-Moctezuma’s organization spanned some two years, and resulted in the seizure of nearly 200 pounds of methamphetamine, most of which was nearly 100% pure.  In addition, the DEA seized at least 18 firearms and over $300,000 in cash, all of which has been forfeited to the United States.

Included among the seizures was a 56-pound load of methamphetamine recovered in South St. Louis in April 2016, believed to have been the largest single seizure of methamphetamine in the history of the Eastern District of Missouri.  Eight individuals were arrested and charged at that time, all of whom entered guilty pleas in a separate case.  Two female couriers were also arrested after they were discovered to be carrying 10 pounds of methamphetamine through O’Fallon, Missouri in July 2016.  Both women subsequently pled guilty.  The government has alleged that Angeles-Moctezuma was responsible for hiring the couriers to transport these shipments to St. Louis, where the methamphetamine was distributed through a network of people acting at his direction.  Angeles-Moctezuma and the remaining 41 co-conspirators were indicted by a Federal Grand Jury in September 2016.  Angeles-Moctezuma was arrested in Stockton, California in October 2016 after investigators learned that he was preparing to flee the United States.

Most of Angeles-Moctezuma’s co-conspirators have already been sentenced.  Notable sentences include:

Alan Cardenas, 27, of Stockton, CA --- 262 months

Michael Chandler, 35, of Kansas City, MO – 240 months

Amanda Young, 39, of  O’Fallon, MO  -- 228 months

Holly Politte, 40, of DeSoto, MO – 180 months

Mark Huse, 34, of St. Louis, MO – 188 months

Kenneth Karrenbrock, 39, of Arnold, MO  -- 192 months

Nearly all of the 52 defendants have significant criminal histories, with some having previously served Federal sentences for drug offenses.

The Office of the United States Attorney and the Drug Enforcement Administration extend their thanks to the St. Francois County Sheriff’s Office, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, the Overland Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, all of which assisted in the investigation.

Updated June 20, 2018

Drug Trafficking