Home Kansas City Press Releases 2009 Indictment: 200+ Pounds of Marijuana Hidden Among Boxes of Cookies

Indictment: 200+ Pounds of Marijuana Hidden Among Boxes of Cookies
Other Indictments: Bankruptcy Fraud, Immigration Violations

U.S. Attorney’s Office March 19, 2009
  • District of Kansas (316) 269-6481

TOPEKA, KS—Three men who were arrested in Kansas City, Kan., have been indicted on charges of possessing more than 200 pounds of marijuana that investigators found hidden among boxes of cookies, Acting U.S. Attorney Marietta Parker said today.

Taurino Cereceres-Morales, 70, Juan Morales, 29, and Jesus Robles, 33, are charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute—and one count of possession with intent to distribute—229.7 pounds of marijuana.

According to court documents, on Feb. 13, 2009, agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration set up surveillance on Cereceres-Morales while he was staying at the Best Western Hotel, 501 Southwest Boulevard, Kansas City, Kan.

On Feb. 17, 2009, agents watched while co-defendants Morales and Robles arrived at the hotel with a U-Haul truck and picked up Cereceres-Morales. The three men went to a Yellow Freight facility at 3500 Boothe Ave, Kansas City., Mo., where they picked up a pallet of cookies that was shipped from El Paso, Texas. They took the shipment to a residence Morales was renting in Kansas City, Kan.,where they unloaded the truck and stored the boxes in a garage. When investigators searched the residence, they found 229.7 pounds of marijuana packaged in 221 bundles hidden among the boxes of cookies.

If convicted, the defendants face a penalty on each count of not less than 5 years and not more than 40 years in federal prison and a fine up to $2 million. The Drug Enforcement Administration investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Terra Morehead is prosecuting.

OTHER INDICTMENTS

A federal grand jury meeting in Topeka, Kan., also returned the following indictments:

Frankie Dean McCumber, 50, Galena, Kan., is charged in a superseding indictment with four counts of fraudulently concealing assets in a bankruptcy and two counts of wire fraud. The crimes are alleged to have occurred in August and November 2003, January 2008 and July 2008 in Shawnee County, Kan.

According to the indictment, on Aug. 27, 2003, McCumber and his wife, Marilyn, filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Topeka. McCumber concealed from the court assets including his interest in 7666 S. E. 75th St., Galena, Kan.; $50,000 he received as a surviving child under the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act; $25,000 he received Jan. 31, 2008, from the U.S. Department of Labor through the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act; and $125,000 he received July 24, 2008, from the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act. He caused the payments received through the Energy Employees Occupational Illness program to be deposited via electronic fund transfers into his account at Community Bank and Trust.

McCumber initially was indicted July 9, 2008.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 5 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on each count of bankruptcy fraud, and a maximum of 20 years on each count of wire fraud. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Trustee worked on the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christine Kenney is prosecuting.

Richard Blaxton, 48, is charged with one count of distributing child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography. The crimes are alleged to have occurred Jan. 15, 2009, in Douglas County, Kan.

If convicted, he faces a penalty of not less than 5 years and not more than 20 years and a fine up to $250,000 on the distribution charged, and a maximum penalty of 10 years and a fine up to $250,000 on the possession charge. The Federal Bureau of Investigation worked on the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kim Martin is prosecuting.

Aramis N. Hernandez, 28, Topeka, Kan., is charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine. The crime is alleged to have occurred Nov. 22, 2007, in Shawnee County, Kan.

If convicted, he faces a penalty of not less than 5 years and not more than 40 years in federal prison and a fine up to $2 million. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Duston Slinkard is prosecuting.

Keith R. Wright, 24, Kansas City, Kan., and Debronski K. Wright, 22, Kansas City, Kan., are charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking. The crimes are alleged to have occurred Feb. 18, 2009, in Kansas City, Kan.

If convicted, they face a penalty of not less than 5 years and not more than 40 years in federal prison and a fine up to $2 million on the drug charge, and not less than 5 years and not more than life and a fine up to $250,000 on the firearms charge. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Terra Morehead is prosecuting.

Rodolfo Escobar-Aguirre, 37, is charged with unlawfully re-entering the United States after being convicted of an aggravated felony and deported. He was found Jan. 21, 2009, in Junction City, Kan.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney David Zabel is prosecuting.

Armando Fernandez-Salazar, 40, is charged with unlawfully re-entering the United States after being convicted of an aggravated felony and deported. He was found Feb. 2, 2009, in Johnson County, Kan.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney David Zabel is prosecuting.

As in any criminal case, a person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The indictments filed merely contain allegations of criminal conduct.

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