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Press Release

KC Woman Pleads Guilty to Meth Trafficking

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Missouri
Agents Seized 700 Kilos of Meth Hidden in Trailer, 66 Kilos of Meth and Nine Firearms Seized at Residence

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Kansas City, Mo., woman pleaded guilty in federal court today to possessing large quantities of methamphetamine to distribute following the seizure of 700 kilograms of methamphetamine that was hidden in a box trailer and disguised as spray foam insulation.

Nora Linda Ochoa-Chavez, 44, a citizen of Mexico, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Howard F. Sachs to one count of aiding and abetting the possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute.

Co-defendant Rafael Valencia-Galaviz, 43, also a citizen of Mexico residing at the same residence, pleaded guilty on May 24, 2023, to the same charge. Valencia-Galaviz also pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime.

Special agents from Homeland Security Investigations contacted the co-defendants at their residence on Oct. 20, 2021, following the large seizure of methamphetamine that was identified at a Laredo, Texas, port of entry and subsequently seized in Kansas City, Kan. Valencia-Galaviz was renting a room with his girlfriend in Ochoa-Chavez’s residence.

Federal agents located Valencia-Galaviz in a bedroom, where they found a Smith & Wesson .40-caliber firearm under a mattress, two vacuum-sealed packages that contained nearly a kilogram of marijuana, and a backpack that contained an undetermined amount of cash. HSI agents also found a Remington .22-caliber rifle with no visible serial number and a Springfield Armory 9mm firearm in the upstairs loft area.

Agents also searched Ochoa-Chavez’s Dodge Caravan, which was parked in the rear of her residence. They found a total of 68 gallon-sized zipper style bags that contained a total of 66.8 kilograms of methamphetamine. Agents also found a Taurus .380-caliber firearm, a US Auto Weapons 5.56-caliber rifle with a loaded 60-round drum magazine, two Anderson Manufacturing AM-15 rifles, a Heckler and Koch .22-caliber rifle, and an Intratec 9mm handgun.

Valencia-Galaviz told investigators he picked up 50 kilograms of methamphetamine two or three days prior to his arrest, and there were approximately 18 kilograms in the van that were left over from an 80-kilogram load he had picked up approximately two to three weeks prior to his arrest.

Prior to this search and arrest, on July 12, 2021, investigators established surveillance on a tractor trailer parked at a truck stop in Olathe, Kansas. Ochoa-Chavez met with the driver of the tractor trailer and handed him a brown paper bag that contained $30,000 in cash. When agents seized the tractor trailer and searched it, they found approximately 700 kilograms of methamphetamine that was hidden within and disguised as spray foam insulation for the box trailer.

Under federal statutes, Ochoa-Chavez is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of 40 years in federal prison without parole. Valencia-Galaviz is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of life in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. Sentencing hearings will be scheduled after the completion of presentence investigations by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph M. Marquez. It was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations.

Updated March 18, 2024

Drug Trafficking