JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that two Mexican nationals were sentenced in federal court today for their roles in conspiracies to distribute large amounts of cocaine and methamphetamine in Cole and Moniteau Counties, Mo.
Eloy Castaneda-Gonzalez, 33, and Beroldo Almazan, 34, a permanent resident of the United States, both of California, Mo., were sentenced in separate hearings before U.S. District Judge Fernando J. Gaitan. Castaneda-Gonzalez was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison without parole. Almazan was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered them to forfeit to the government $52,928, which was derived from the offense.
Both Castaneda-Gonzalez and Almazan pleaded guilty to their role in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine.
According to court documents, a DEA agent learned that Castaneda-Gonzalez wanted to purchase seven kilograms of cocaine from two cooperating sources. The DEA’s cooperating sources agreed to travel to Missouri and deliver the cocaine for $24,000 per kilogram. On June 21, 2012, the cooperating sources directed Castaneda-Gonzalez to meet them at a Jefferson City, Mo., motel.
Castaneda-Gonzalez was accompanied by Almazan and co-defendant Adolfo Almazan-Hernandez, 43, of California, Mo., when he arrived at the motel room. Castaneda-Gonzalez explained that he didn’t have all of the money to purchase seven kilograms of cocaine, but offered to provide the cooperating sources with five pounds of methamphetamine, along with a portion of the money, in exchange for the cocaine. They accepted the offer, and Castaneda-Gonzalez, Almazan and Hernandez left the motel room, stating they would return shortly with the methamphetamine and money.
Approximately one and a half hours later, Castaneda-Gonzalez, Almazan and Almazan-Hernandez returned to the motel room. Castaneda-Gonzalez gave the cooperating sources a package that contained nearly one pound of crystal methamphetamine. A short time later, Hernandez left the room momentarily and returned with a bag containing the remaining four pounds of crystal methamphetamine. Hernandez again left the room and returned approximately 30 minutes later with $20,000 in cash. The cooperating sources then provided Castaneda-Gonzalez with one kilogram of cocaine to inspect, and told him they were going to leave the room to obtain the remaining six kilograms.
Castaneda-Gonzalez became extremely nervous and fled from the room, followed by Almazan, but both were apprehended after a brief foot chase. Almazan-Hernandez was also taken into custody as he walked out of the motel room.
Investigators later located co-defendants Froylan Pedroza-Guadarrama, 30, Victor Hugo De La Roza-Garza, 32, and Jesus Ricardo-Amaya, 28, at a nearby McDonald’s.
Almazan-Hernandez and Ricardo-Amaya have pleaded guilty to the same two charges – conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and conspiracy to distribute cocaine – and await sentencing. Pedroza-Guadarrama and De La Roza-Garza have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine and await sentencing.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Lynn. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Mid-Missouri Drug Task Force and the Jefferson City, Mo., Police Department.