Texas Man Pleads Guilty to Cocaine Conspiracy
Investigators Intercepted Shipment to KC of Eight Kilos of Cocaine
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A San Elizario, Texas, man has pleaded guilty in federal court to his role in a conspiracy to distribute large quantities of cocaine in the metropolitan area.
Armando Rosales Jr., 30, pleaded guilty before U.S. Chief District Judge Beth Phillips on Tuesday, Dec. 17, to participating in the drug-trafficking conspiracy that lasted from October 2013 to Nov. 15, 2018.
By pleading guilty, Rosales admitted that he was a courier for a drug-trafficking organization. Investigators had received information that a shipment of cocaine was being delivered to the Kansas City, Missouri, metropolitan area. On Dec. 18, 2017, a DEA investigator stopped the Ford F-150 pickup Rosales was driving near Sweetwater, Texas. The investigator searched Rosales’s vehicle and found eight packages completely wrapped in electrical tape in the rear seat back of the truck. The packages contained a total of approximately eight kilograms of powder cocaine. Rosales admitted he was transporting the cocaine to the Kansas City metropolitan area.
According to the plea agreement, the drug-trafficking organization was purchasing cocaine for approximately $27,000 to $27,500 per kilogram. Accordingly, the value of the eight kilograms that Rosales transported was at least $216,000.
Co-defendant Miguel Armendariz-Rascon, 31, a citizen of Mexico residing in Olathe, Kansas, has also pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy. Armendariz-Rascon admitted that he aided a co-conspirator in providing $491,211 in illicit drug proceeds – which was seized by law enforcement – to another co-conspirator. Armendariz-Rascon admitted the money represented the proceeds of the distribution of more than 17 kilograms of cocaine.
Under federal statutes, Rosales and Armendariz-Rascon are each 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. 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 Trey Alford and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Smith. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI, IRS-Criminal Investigation and the Lee’s Summit, Mo., Police Department.