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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Indictment: Washington Men Arrested In Kansas With More than 13 Pounds of Meth

WICHITA, KAN. - Two Washington men who were arrested in in Thomas County with more than 13 pounds of methamphetamine have been indicted on federal drug charges, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said.

Jose Valenzuela-Rojo, 30, Pasco, Wash., and Rafael Gastelum-Castro, 34, Pasco, Wash., are charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

They were arrested June 8, 2015, in Thomas County.

If convicted, they face a penalty of not less than 10 years and not more than life in federal prison and a fine up to $4 million. The Drug Enforcement Administration investigated. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Jacobs is investigating.

OTHER GRAND JURY INDICTMENTS

Carlos Hernandez, 21, Los Angeles, Calif.; and Daniel Ortiz-Rivera, 23, a citizen of Mexico, are charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute approximately four pounds of methamphetamine, and one count of traveling across state lines in furtherance of drug trafficking. The crimes are alleged to have occurred June 5, 2015, in Thomas County, Kan.

If convicted, they face a penalty of not less than 10 years and a fine up to $10 million on the possession charge, and a maximum penalty of five years and a fine up to $250,000 on the other charge. The Kansas Highway Patrol and the Drug Enforcement Administration investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lanny Welch is prosecuting.

Mario Alberto Hernandez-Esqivel, 37, a citizen of Mexico, is charged with unlawfully re-entering the United States after being deported. He was found June 4, 2015, 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 Enforcement and Removal Operations investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Anderson is prosecuting.

Michael E. Foxworthy, 25, Wichita, Kan.; Lashawnda L. Lindeman, 26, Wichita, Kan.; and Stephen A. Espinoza, 24, Wichita, Kan., are charged with drug trafficking. Foxworthy is charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Lindeman and Espinoza are charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking. The crimes are alleged to have occurred June 5, 2015, in Wichita.

Upon conviction, the crimes carry the following penalties:

     Conspiracy: Not less than five and not more than 40 years in federal prison and a fine up to $2 million.

     Possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine: A maximum penalty of 20 years and a fine up to $1 million.

     Unlawful possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking: A maximum penalty of five years and a fine up to $250,000.

The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Department investigated. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Jacobs is prosecuting.

Daniel Nicholson, 50, Wichita, Kan., is charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. The crime is alleged to have occurred June 12, 2015, in Sedgwick County, Kan.

If convicted, he faces a penalty of not less than 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $4 million. The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Jacobs is prosecuting.

Ascencion Montes-Martinez, 35, Lynwood, Calif., is charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. The crime is alleged to have occurred May 28, 2015, in Thomas County, Kan.

If convicted, he faces a penalty of not less than 10 years and a fine up to $4 million. The Drug Enforcement Administration investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Jacobs is prosecuting.

Angelica M. Flores, 21, Pratt, Kan., is charged with one count of unlawful possession of a firearm following a felony conviction, and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm with the serial number removed. The crimes are alleged to have occurred May 19, 2015, in Ford County, Kan.

If convicted, she faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on the unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, and a maximum penalty of five years and a fine up to $250,000 on the other count. The Dodge City Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lanny Welch is prosecuting.

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

 

Component(s): 
Updated June 23, 2015