Skip to main content
Press Release

Mexican National Indicted or Heroin Trafficking, Illegal Firearm

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Missouri

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Kansas City, Kansas, man has been indicted by a federal grand jury after police officers found almost six kilograms of suspected heroin in a trash bag he discarded following a traffic accident.

Luis Ponce-Lopez, 26, a citizen of Mexico, was charged in a two-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Mo., on Tuesday, April 2. The indictment replaces a federal criminal complaint that was filed against Ponce-Lopez on March 26, 2024.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the original criminal complaint, Ponce-Lopez was driving a black 2013 Ford F350 pickup truck when he was involved in a traffic accident on March 24, 2024. Witnesses told police officers they saw Ponce-Lopez get out of his truck after the collision, carry a black trash bag, dump it in a nearby field, and return to his truck. Officers found the trash bag, which contained several packages wrapped in black paper, a silver thermos, and two clear tubs. Four of the containers were tested and found to contain a total of nearly three kilograms of heroin. The total amount of suspected heroin in all of the containers weighed more than 5.7 kilograms.

Officers searched the pickup truck following Ponce-Lopez’s arrest and found a Dan Wesson 10mm semi-automatic handgun.

The federal indictment charges Ponce-Lopez with one count of possessing heroin with the intent to distribute and one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime.

The charges contained in this indictment 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 Brandon E. Gibson. It was investigated by the Jackson County Drug Task Force.

Project Safe Neighborhoods

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

Updated April 3, 2024

Project Safe Neighborhoods