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Press Release

Mexican National Sentenced to 20 Years for Meth Conspiracy

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

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that an Independence, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for his role in a drug-trafficking conspiracy that smuggled methamphetamine from Mexico to the Kansas City, Mo., area.


Marcelino Ruiz-Reyes, 37, a citizen of Mexico residing in Independence, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Fernando J. Gaitan to 20 years and eight months in federal prison without parole.


On Aug. 13, 2014, Ruiz-Reyes pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, to possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime, and to participating in a money-laundering conspiracy.


Ruiz-Reyes is among nine co-defendants charged in a May 2, 2013, federal indictment. Ruiz-Reyes admitted that he participated in the drug-trafficking and money-laundering conspiracies from Jan. 1 to Dec. 4, 2012. Ruiz-Reyes also admitted that the amount of methamphetamine distributed during this conspiracy is 1.5 kilograms or more.


Ruiz-Reyes ordered methamphetamine from a co-conspirator in Sinaloa, Mexico. The drugs were delivered via a tractor trailer driven by co-defendant Gerardo Millan-Sanchez, 56, of San Jose, Calif. Ruiz-Reyes then provided Millan-Sanchez with bulk cash to be paid to his Mexican contact upon his return. Ruiz-Reyes then utilized other co-conspirators to distribute the methamphetamine to numerous customers within the Kansas City metro and surrounding areas. Millan-Sanchez has pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing.


Ruiz-Reyes admitted that he arranged for co-conspirators to bury 3.5 kilograms of methamphetamine on the grounds of his residence. A couple of weeks later, upon learning the methamphetamine had been stolen, he and co-defendant Jaime Reyes-Orosco, also known as “Jaimito,” 31, of Kansas City, Mo., aiding and abetting each other, possessed a Tanfoglio 9mm handgun with the intent to locate and intimidate an unknown subject in retaliation for the theft of the methamphetamine. Reyes-Orosco has pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing.


This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Catherine Connelly. It was investigated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Updated August 18, 2015

Drug Trafficking