Mexican National Charged with Possessing 15 Kilograms of Cocaine
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Mexican national was charged in federal court today after law enforcement officers seized his suitcase containing more than 15 kilograms of cocaine from a Greyhound bus.
Jose Manual Gomez-Monzon, 21, of Sinoloa, Mexico, was charged in a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo.
Today’s federal criminal complaint charges Gomez-Monzon with possessing cocaine with the intent to distribute.
According to an affidavit filed in support of the complaint, law enforcement officers noticed a suspicious suitcase in the passenger compartment of a Greyhound bus that originated in Los Angeles, Calif., and was stopped at the Greyhound Bus Station at 1101 Troost, Kansas City, Mo., on Tuesday, May 31, 2016. The suitcase had a strong order of a chemical smell, the affidavit says, and no identifiers or tags. When passengers re-loaded the bus, officers asked who the bag belonged to, the affidavit says, but none of the passengers claimed ownership.
Officers removed the suitcase and opened it. Beneath a thin layer of women’s clothing items, the affidavit says, they found 15 bundles of cocaine with a total weight of 15.69 kilograms (34.6 pounds).
According to the affidavit, Gomez-Monzon, who was traveling with a woman who appeared to match the clothing size that was located in the suitcase, had been questioned earlier by officers and had been acting visibly nervous. Officers questioned Gomez-Monzon and his girlfriend and asked to search the girlfriend’s duffel bag. She told the officer there was clothing missing from her bag, and identified the clothing found in the suitcase with the cocaine as her missing clothing. Gomez-Monzon and his girlfriend were placed under arrest. Gomez-Monzon told officers that he had traveled from Mexico to Los Angeles in order to pick up a suitcase and transport it to Philadelphia, Penn.
Dickinson cautioned that the charge contained in this complaint is simply an accusation, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charge 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 Adam Caine. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration.