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Press Release

Mexican National Sentenced to 25 Years for Leading Meth, Heroin Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Missouri
KC Man Distributed 250 Pounds of Meth

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Kansas City, Mo., man has been sentenced in federal court for leading a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

Panfilo Acuna, Jr., 29, a citizen of Mexico, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Stephen R. Bough on Thursday, Feb. 22, to 25 years in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Acuna to forfeit to the government $550,603, which represents the proceeds he received from the drug-trafficking conspiracy.

On Oct. 13, 2022, Acuna pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and heroin, conspiracy to commit money laundering, 42 counts of money laundering, and one count of international money laundering.

Acuna admitted that he was the leader of a drug-trafficking organization that distributed methamphetamine and heroin throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area from 2016 until his arrest in 2020. Acuna was the primary source of methamphetamine and heroin distributed to a dozen co-defendants in this case. Acuna also admitted he distributed approximately 250 pounds of methamphetamine and laundered more than $500,000 in drug-trafficking proceeds.

Acuna received methamphetamine and heroin from sources in California and Mexico.  Acuna coordinated shipments of bulk methamphetamine and heroin from California to his associates in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Acuna utilized different methods to transport drugs from California to Kansas City, including drug couriers, parcel carriers, and commercial delivery services where drugs would be hidden in furniture and other consumer items. The drugs would then be distributed to a network of street-level dealers in this area who then sold the drugs to other dealers and addicts.

Acuna conducted 1,046 financial transactions between 2015 and 2020, nearly all of them to individuals in California and Mexico, that were related to his drug trafficking. The aggregate amount of money deposited was $305,109. Other wire transfers were also conducted that totaled $246,494. Additionally, Acuna transferred $20,060 to individuals in Mexico through 22 money transfers as part of the conspiracy. The financial investigation revealed his associates also laundered money through a variety of means.

On Oct. 1, 2020, the FBI and the Jackson County Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at Acuna’s apartment. Investigators recovered 19 firearms, thousands of rounds of ammunition, magazines, drug ledgers, 10 grams of heroin, and nearly three kilograms of methamphetamine.

Acuna is the ninth defendant to be sentenced in this case. Two co-defendants have pleaded guilty and await sentencing.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew Moeder and Megan A. Baker. It was investigated by the FBI and the Jackson County Drug Task Force.

Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force

This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

Updated February 23, 2024

Topic
Drug Trafficking