Drug Traffickers Network Included Topeka, Kansas City, Great Bend, Federal Indictments Unsealed Today Allege
Twenty-One Defendants Charged in Operation White Pistol
|U.S. Attorney’s Office June 18, 2009|
TOPEKA, KS—Federal indictments charging 21 defendants with drug trafficking were unsealed today after investigators from the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and local law enforcement agencies made arrests and served 32 search warrants Wednesday in Topeka, Great Bend and Kansas City, Kan., Salina, Kan., Lawrence, Kan., and St. Mary’s, Kan.
The indictments allege the defendants were part of a drug trafficking organization that imported methamphetamine and other narcotics from Arizona to Kansas and sold the drugs to buyers in the metro areas of Kansas City, Kan., Topeka and Great Bend.
“This investigation, which began in the summer of 2008, was code named White Pistol,” said U.S. Attorney Lanny Welch. “It drew on the resources of local, state and federal agencies working together to uncover an extensive network of drug trafficking that reached from Topeka to Phoenix, Ariz.”
Welch said investigators in the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Operation White Pistol seized:
- More than $600,000 in cash
- 10 pounds of methamphetamine
- Half a pound of cocaine
- 20 vehicles
- 30 firearms and ammunition
According to court documents, defendant Adan Molina is alleged to have directed the organization, often from a stash house in a trailer park in Topeka. Over months of investigation and surveillance, agents observed Molina and other conspirators engaged in the daily operations of drug trafficking including obtaining narcotics, finding places to keep the drugs until they were sold, purchasing materials and processing the drugs for sale, taking orders from buyers and arranging for deliveries. Investigators documented the illegal activities as the conspirators went about their business at various locations in Topeka, Kansas City, Great Bend and elsewhere.
Charged in the federal indictments unsealed today are:
- Adan Molina, 29, Great Bend.
- Alfonso Rubio-Ayala, 25, Topeka, Kan.
- Filoberto Ruiz, 41
- Ramiro Soto, Topeka, Kan.
- Renato Garcia-Medina
- Francisco J. Marin, 33, Topeka, Kan.
- Rosendo Figueroa-Banuelos, 38, Topeka, Kan.
- Samuel (last name unknown)
- Gilberto Martinez-Villa, 54, Rodeo, Durango, Mexico.
- Francisco Nunez, 35, Topeka, Kan.
- Kelly Rubio, 38, Topeka, Kan.
- Hugo Soto-Meraz, 31, Topeka, Kan.
- Fedrico Soto-Silva, 27, Topeka, Kan.
- Brandon David Swarts, 35, Salina, Kan.
- Maria G. Vazquez, 27, Great Bend, Kan.
- Jasmin Rose Gartland, 31, Salina, Kan.
- Kent Joseph Gockel, 51, St. Marys, Kan.
- Lance Joseph Guzman, 51, Topeka, Kan.
- Gary Edward Heath, Jr., 51, Topeka, Kan.
- Danielle Renae Kostiuk, 25, Topeka, Kan.
- Bradley Dale Liles, 46, Topeka, Kan.
Charges in the indictments include:
Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Upon conviction, the crime carries a penalty of not less than 10 years and not more than life in federal prison and a fine up to $4 million.
Unlawful use of cellular telephones in furtherance of drug trafficking. Upon conviction, the crime carries a maximum penalty of 4 years and a fine up to $250,000 on each count.
Unlawful monetary transactions involving the proceeds of drug trafficking. Upon conviction, the crime carries a maximum penalty of 20 years and a fine up to $250,000 on each count.
Distribution of methamphetamine. Upon conviction, the crime carries a penalty of not less than 5 years and not more than 20 years and a fine up to $500,000 on each count.
Possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking. The crime carries a penalty of not less than 5 years and a fine up to $250,000.
Welch said the following agencies participated in the investigation or the serving of search warrants and arrest warrants: the I-70/I-35 Task Force from Salina, Kan., The Drug Enforcement Administration, The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Tobacco, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, The Topeka Police Department, The Great Bend Police Department, the Shawnee County Sheriff’s Department, the Barton County Sheriff’s Office, the Kansas Highway Patrol, Counter-Drug Special Operations Group, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Kansas Department of Revenue, the Lawrence Police Department, the Pawnee County Sheriff’s Department. The Barton County Attorney’s office and the Shawnee County District Attorney’s office also assisted. Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Hough is prosecuting.