Jury Convicts Kansas Man of $1 Million Meth Conspiracy in St. Joseph, Across Four-State Region
KANSAS CITY, MO—Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kansas City, Kan., man was convicted by a federal trial jury today of his role in a large-scale conspiracy that distributed more than 15 kilograms of methamphetamine in St. Joseph, Mo., and across a four-state region.
Anselmo Salazar, also known as “Crazy Eyes,” 49, of Kansas City, Kan., was found guilty of participating in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine from Jan. 1, 2009, to Nov. 12, 2013. Salazar was also found guilty of participating in a money-laundering conspiracy that involved financial transactions of the proceeds of illegal drug-trafficking.
In 2010, the Buchanan County Drug Strike Force and the Drug Enforcement Administration initiated an investigation into a drug-trafficking organization distributing methamphetamine in northwest Missouri, northeast Kansas, southern Iowa and Nebraska.
Salazar is among 24 defendants charged in a Nov. 15, 2013, federal indictment. Salazar, along with co-defendants Carlos Alberto Yanez, 33, of Lee’s Summit, Mo., and Marvin Carl Rogers, 54, of Gladstone, Mo. were the primary sources of supply for methamphetamine for the entire organization. Yanez and Rogers have pleaded guilty and await sentencing.
Yanez and Salazar obtained methamphetamine in up to pound quantities and then delivered the methamphetamine to co-defendant Shannon Martinez (also known as “Big Homie”), 38, of St. Joseph, and another man charged in a separate case. Martinez, in turn, sold the methamphetamine to others to distribute. Martinez has pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing.
On Oct. 11, 2011, Salazar was arrested after a traffic stop in Platte County, Mo. Salazar, who was was driving Yanez’s vehicle, was in possession of 42 one-pound bundles of marijuana, 25 grams of cocaine and 80 grams of methamphetamine. Salazar was on his way to deliver the methamphetamine to St. Joseph for Yanez, and to pick up cash payment for the delivered methamphetamine.
Following the presentation of evidence, the jury in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo., deliberated for about an hour before returning the guilty verdicts to U.S. Chief District Judge Greg Kays, ending a trial that began Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015.
Salazar is jointly and severally liable to forfeit to the government a money judgment of $976,800, which was received in exchange for the unlawful distribution of methamphetamine, based on a conservative purchase price of $1,850 an ounce (for 50 percent pure methamphetamine) and the distribution of more than 15 kilograms of methamphetamine by conspirators.
In addition, among the property that must be forfeited to the government by Salazar’s co-defendants are three cars, a pick-up truck, a motorcycle and approximately $116,389 that was seized from several co-defendants by law enforcement officers during the investigation.
Under federal statutes, Salazar is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of life in federal prison without parole. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Bruce Rhoades and Patrick C. Edwards. It was investigated by the Buchanan County Drug Strike Force, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI, the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department, the St. Joseph, Mo., Police Department and the Buchanan County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department.