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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Kansas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Indictment: Denver Man's Airplane, Cars, Cash Were Proceeds Of Marijuana Trafficking

 

WICHITA, KAN. – A federal indictment returned today in Wichita seeks the forfeiture of a business jet after the man flying the plane was arrested in July at the airport in Iola, Kan., U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said.

Kenneth E. Weaver, 58, Denver, Colo., is charged in a superseding indictment with one count of possession with intent to distribute more than 50 kilograms of marijuana, one count of conspiracy to distribute marijuana, and one count of interstate travel in furtherance of drug trafficking.

The indictment seeks the forfeiture of a 1979 Israel Aircraft Industries Model 1124 jet aircraft, a 2007 Bentley Continental GT-C automobile and more than $450,000 in cash seized Aug. 8, 2014, in Sylmar, Calif.

Weaver was arrested July 11, 2014, after members of the Allen County Sheriff’s Office, the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office, the Kansas Highway Patrol and the Drug Enforcement Administration executed a search warrant on his plane and seized a load of marijuana.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a fine up to $1 million on the possession count, a penalty of not less than 10 years and a fine up to $4 million on the conspiracy count, and a maximum penalty of five years and a fine up to $250,000 on the interstate travel charge. The Allen County Sheriff’s Office, the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office, the Kansas Highway Patrol and the Drug Enforcement Administration investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Debra Barnett is prosecuting.

OTHER INDICTMENTS

Ryan B. Schmidt, 34, Wichita, Kan., is charged with two counts of robbery, two counts of brandishing a firearm during a robbery and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm following a felony conviction. The robberies are alleged to have occurred Sept. 4, 2014, and Aug. 19, 2014, in Wichita, Kan.

The indictment alleges that on Sept. 4, 2014, Schmidt entered the Gessler’s Drug Store at 4817 E. Douglas, pointed a handgun at an employee, and said, “I want your opiates.” The employee gave him seven bottles of hydrocodone and three bottles of promethazine.

The indictment also alleges that on Aug. 19, 2014, Schmidt entered the Parklane Pharmacy at 530 S. Oliver, pointed a handgun at an employee and demanded narcotics. The employee gave him two bottles of oxycodone and $120 in cash.

Upon conviction, the crimes carry the following penalties:
Robbery: A maximum penalty of 20 years and a fine up to $250,000 on each count.
Brandishing a firearm: A penalty of not less than five years and a fine up to $250,000 on each count.
Unlawful possession of a firearm following a felony conviction: A maximum penalty of 10 years and a fine up to $250,000.

The Wichita Police Department investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Metzger is prosecuting.

Justen L. Marks, 25, Wichita, Kan., is charged with one count of attempting to pass 15 counterfeit bills at the Walmart store at 501 E. Pawnee, and one count of possessing counterfeit currency. The crimes are alleged to have occurred Feb. 22, 2014, in Wichita, Kan.

If convicted, he faces a maximum of 20 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on each count. The Department of Homeland Security investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Metzger is prosecuting.

Kevin Hamill, 26, Garden City, Kan., is charged with one count of unlawful possession of a firearm following a felony conviction, and one count of unlawful possession of ammunition after a felony conviction. The crimes are alleged to have occurred June 2, 2014, in Finney County, Kan.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on each count. The Garden City Police Department investigated. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Jacobs is prosecuting.

Silvia Clemente-Rojo, 41, a citizen of Mexico, is charged with two counts of perjury, one count of buying a counterfeit Social Security card and one count of aggravated identity theft. The crimes are alleged to have occurred in September 2013 in Finney County, Kan.

If convicted, she faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on each count of perjury and on the count of buying a counterfeit Social Security card, and a mandatory consecutive two-year sentence on the aggravated identity theft count. The Kansas Department of Revenue and Homeland Security Investigations investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Anderson is prosecuting.

Saul Garcia-Hernandez, 38, a citizen of Mexico, is charged with one count of unlawfully re-entering the United States after being deported. He was found Aug. 27, 2014, in Sedgwick County, Kan.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of two years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Anderson is prosecuting.

Guillermo Amparan-Mendoza, 38, a citizen of Mexico, is charged with one count of unlawfully re-entering the United States after being deported. He was found Aug. 27, 2014, in Sedgwick County, Kan.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of two years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Anderson is prosecuting.

 Leoga Beltran-Esquivel, 29, a citizen of Mexico, is charged with unlawfully re-entering the United States after being deported. He was found Aug. 28, 2014, in Sedgwick County, Kan.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of two years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. Homeland Security Investigations investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mona Furst is prosecuting.

Derik E. Steele, 29, Wichita, Kan., is charged with one count of unlawful possession of a firearm following a felony conviction, one count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a user of controlled substances, one count of possession of methamphetamine, and one count of possession of marijuana. The crimes are alleged to have occurred June 8, 2014, in in Sedgwick County, Kan.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on the firearm count and the ammunition count, and a maximum a year and a fine up to $250,000 on each of the misdemeanor drug possession counts. The Wichita Police Department investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lanny Welch is investigating.

Juan Enrique Esguival-Meza, 48, a citizen of Mexico, is charged with unlawfully re-entering the United States after being deported. He was found Sept. 11, 2014, in Sedgwick County, Kan.

If convicted he faces a maximum penalty of two years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Anderson is prosecuting.


Luis Ramon Carrera-Morales, 59, a citizen of Mexico, is charged with one count of unlawfully re-entering the United States after being deported. HE was found Sept. 11, 2014 in Sedgwick County, Kan.

 If convicted he faces a maximum penalty of two years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Anderson is prosecuting.

In all cases, defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The indictments merely contain allegations of criminal conduct.

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Updated December 16, 2014