Five KC-Area Residents Charged in Drug-Trafficking Conspiracy After Officers Seized 25 Pounds of Meth
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Five Kansas City, Mo., area residents were charged in federal court today for their roles in a drug-trafficking conspiracy after law enforcement officers seized approximately 25 pounds of methamphetamine during an undercover operation.
Alfredo Soto-Contreras, also known as “Antonio,” 34, Omar Eliseo Barraza-Bueno, also known as “Shell,” 31, Rey Moreno-Chepe, also known as “Chepe,” 24, Daniel Calderon-Vargas, 29, and Nayeli Fuentes-Verdugo, 30, were charged in a two-count complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo. They remain in federal custody pending a detention hearing, which has not yet been scheduled.
The federal criminal complaint charges each of the five defendants with participating in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine from May 17 to Dec. 18, 2018.
In addition to the conspiracy, four of the defendants – Barraza-Bueno, Moreno-Chepe, Calderon-Vargas and Fuentes-Verdugo – are charged together in one count of aiding and abetting each other to possess methamphetamine with the intent to distribute. They were arrested on Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2018, when they met with an undercover federal law enforcement agent to deliver approximately 25 pounds (more than 11 kilograms) of methamphetamine.
According to an affidavit filed in support of the federal criminal complaint, the defendants are part of an armed drug-trafficking organization that federal agents have been investigating in the Kansas City, Mo., metropolitan area. During the investigation, an undercover agent has purchased 14 firearms and approximately three kilograms of methamphetamine.
The affidavit cites several transactions in which Soto-Garcia and Barraza-Bueno sold firearms (some of which were stolen) and methamphetamine to the undercover officer.
Barraza-Bueno allegedly met with the undercover officer on Oct. 3, 2018, and discussed the purchase of large quantities of methamphetamine. Barraza-Bueno told the undercover officer that he purchases 80 pounds of methamphetamine every month or 20 pounds every week. During the discussion, the affidavit says, Barraza-Bueno agreed to sell the undercover officer 100 pounds of methamphetamine for $270,000. On Dec. 10, 2018, Barraza-Bueno told the undercover officer that he had 40 pounds of methamphetamine and could obtain an additional quantity to conduct the delivery on Dec. 18, 2018. When they met the undercover officer for the transaction on that day, Barraza-Bueno, Moreno-Chepe, Calderon-Vargas and Fuentes-Verdugo were arrested by federal agents.
The charges contained in this complaint 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 Jeffrey Q. McCarther. It was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Drug Enforcement Administration.