16 KC Metro Area Residents Indicted for Drug Trafficking

16 KC Metro Area Residents Indicted for Drug Trafficking Conspiracy

Sixteen residents of Kansas City, Mo., Kansas City, Kansas, and Independence, Mo., have been indicted by a federal grand jury for their roles in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine, methamphetamine, and fentanyl.

Ublester Molina, 26, Kevin O. Alarcon, 25, Rocky Orozco, 30, Salvador Valdivia, 40, Stephen Manning, 33, Carlos Ramos, 21, Joel Vargas, 30, Danzell Walker, 31, Gerald Knight, 43, Tatiana Ray, 29, and Ana Morales, 27, all of Kansas City, Mo.; Robert Manley Jr., 30, Bernard Kelly, 35, and Miranda Sanchez, 40, all of Kansas City, Kan.; Christian Love-Barker, 26, and Tyreece Dickerson, 34, both of Independence, Mo.; were charged in a 19-count indictment returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Mo., on Tuesday, June 21. That indictment was unsealed and made public today following the arrests of most of the defendants in a metro-wide law enforcement operation this morning.

The federal indictment alleges that 13 of the defendants (with the exceptions of Ray, Morales, and Sanchez) participated in a conspiracy to distribute at least five kilograms of cocaine, as well as methamphetamine and fentanyl, from Jan. 1, 2019, to June 21, 2022. According to the indictment, Orozco, Manley, and Valdivia were leaders of the conspiracy.

Orozco, Manley, Valdivia, Ray, Morales, and Sanchez are also charged with participating in a money-laundering conspiracy from Oct. 1, 2015, to Sept. 9, 2020. They allegedly engaged in financial transactions that involved the proceeds of the drug-trafficking conspiracy.

In addition to the conspiracies, various defendants are charged in seven separate counts related to drug trafficking and nine separate counts related to using their cell phones to facilitate a drug-trafficking crime.

Walker is also charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. He allegedly was in possession of a Springfield .40-caliber handgun on Aug. 16, 2021.

The charges contained in this indictment 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. Attorneys Matt Moeder, Patrick Edwards, and Mary Kate Butterfield. It was investigated by the FBI, the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department, IRS-Criminal Investigation, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

KC Metro Strike Force

This prosecution was brought as a part of the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Co-located Strike Forces Initiative, which provides for the establishment of permanent multi-agency task force teams that work side-by-side in the same location. This co-located model enables agents from different agencies to collaborate on intelligence-driven, multi-jurisdictional operations against a continuum of priority targets and their affiliate illicit financial networks.

These prosecutor-led co-located Strike Forces capitalize on the synergy created through the long-term relationships that can be forged by agents, analysts, and prosecutors who remain together over time, and they epitomize the model that has proven most effective in combating organized crime. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking organizations, transnational criminal organizations, and money laundering organizations that present a significant threat to the public safety, economic, or national security of the United States.

SOURCE: USDOJ.Today