Two Brothers Charged in $1 Million Drug Trafficking Conspiracy
KANSAS CITY, MO—Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that two more Kansas City, Mo., men were indicted by a federal grand jury today for their roles in a 15-member conspiracy to distribute more than $1 million worth of cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana.
Jesse F. Vasquez, 40, and his brother, Jonathan Anthony Vasquez, 34, both of Kansas City, were charged in an eight-count superseding indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Mo.
Today’s indictment replaces a Nov. 18, 2014, indictment and includes the original defendants along with additional charges. Those previously charged are Christopher Brian Padilla, 30, Natalie N. Tinoco, 29, Oswaldo Ulises Lopez, 24, Edward Francis Diaz, Jr., 47, Edward Francis Diaz III, 28, Mary Eloisa Steward, 33, Heriberto Muzquiz III, 43, Nicholas Salinas, 47, and Terry L. Diaz, 50, all of Kansas City, Mo.; Sergio Ibarra-Hernandez, 44, Jose Tereso Salinas-Covarrubias, 46, and Martin Fernando Espinoza-Arevalo, 26, all of whom are citizens of Mexico residing in Kansas City, Mo.; and Adan Rogelio Hernandez-Aceves, also known as Jose Delgado-Hernandez, 44, a citizen of Mexico residing in Kansas City, Kan.
The federal indictment alleges that all of the defendants participated in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana from Jan. 1, 2012, to Nov. 19, 2014. The indictment alleges that conspirators distributed at least 15 kilograms of cocaine, two kilograms of methamphetamine and 1,000 kilograms of marijuana.
As in the original indictment, Padilla also is charged with one count of illegally possessing firearms. Padilla allegedly possessed and used a loaded .357-caliber Glock semi-automatic pistol, a Taurus .38-caliber revolver and a Glock .40-caliber semi-automatic pistol in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime. Padilla is also charged with selling a Taurus .38-caliber revolver and a Glock .40-caliber semi-automatic pistol to a buyer who was prohibited from possessing a firearm because he was a felon.
Today’s superseding indictment contains several new charges against various defendants.
Salinas and Jonathan Vasquez are charged with possessing cocaine with the intent to distribute. Ibarra-Hernandez and Salinas-Covarrubias are charged with possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute.
Ibarra-Hernandez, Salinas-Covarrubias and Jonathan Vasquez are charged with being drug users in possession of firearms and ammunition. The indictment alleges that the three men, who were addicted to marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine and other controlled substances, were in possession of a Ruger semi-automatic handgun, a Smith and Wesson .357-caliber handgun and ammunition.
Ibarra-Hernandez and Salinas-Covarrubias are charged with being illegal aliens in possession of firearms and ammunition.
Ibarra-Hernandez, Espinoza-Arevalo and Hernandez-Aceves are also charged with illegally reentering the United States after having been deported.
The federal indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation, which would require the defendants to forfeit to the government any property derived from the proceeds of the drug-trafficking conspiracy or used to facilitate the commission of the drug-trafficking conspiracy, including a money judgment of $1,050,000 for which all of the defendants are jointly and severally liable. This sum, in aggregate, allegedly was received in exchange for the unlawful distribution of cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana, based on a conservative average street price of $32,000 per kilogram of cocaine, $1,000 per ounce of methamphetamine and $500 per pound of marijuana and the total conspiracy distribution of at least 15 kilograms of cocaine, two kilograms of methamphetamine and 1,000 kilograms of marijuana.
The forfeiture allegation would also require the defendants to forfeit two residential properties owned by Salinas, a 2007 Chevrolet Avalanche pick-up owned by Hernandez-Aceves and $59,708 seized by law enforcement officers.
Dickinson cautioned that these charges are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bruce Rhoades. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department and the FBI.