KC Woman, Sonia Ornelas Pleads Guilty to Meth Conspiracy
Sonia Ornelas, 44, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Howard F. Sachs to participating in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine from Oct. 1, 2018, to Aug. 7, 2019.
A confidential source purchased 500.1 grams of methamphetamine from Ornelas for $3,500 during a controlled purchase on June 25, 2019.
On June 28, 2019, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Ornelas’s residence. Detectives found approximately 112 grams of methamphetamine, 11 firearms, two cell phones, a video surveillance recorder, drug paraphernalia, and two drug ledgers. Detectives also found $27,248 in cash, which Ornelas must forfeit to the government ($2,460 of this was from the controlled purchase on June 25, 2019).
Ornelas told investigators she paid $25,000 twice a month since October 2018 for methamphetamine (approximately $450,000 over nine months). At a price of $7,000 per kilogram, this represents at least 65 kilograms of methamphetamine. A confidential source identified Ornelas as a source of methamphetamine from March to August 2019. During this time, the confidential source purchased one or two kilograms of methamphetamine from Ornelas twice a week, for a total of 44 kilograms of methamphetamine, and paid $7,000 per kilogram. The confidential source also traded several firearms for methamphetamine.
Ornelas is the second defendant to plead guilty in this case. Co-defendant Adam L. Ragsdale, 45, of Independence, Mo., was sentenced on Oct. 14, 2021, to 10 years and one month in federal prison without parole after pleading guilty to his role in the drug-trafficking conspiracy.
Under federal statutes, Ornelas 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. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. 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. Attorney Emily A. Morgan. It was investigated by the Jackson County Drug Task Force, the Blue Springs, Mo., Police Department, the Independence, Mo., Police Department, and the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department.