Missouri News: Eight Indicted for $2.1 Million Meth Conspiracy

KANSAS CITY, MO – Eight defendants were indicted by a federal grand jury today for their roles in a $2.1 million conspiracy to distribute nearly 100 kilograms of methamphetamine.

Juan Guzman, also known as “Flaco,” 37, Luis Carlos Ramos Caraveo, 23, and Maria De La Cruz Nava, 22, all citizens of Mexico residing in the Kansas City, Missouri, area; Chanthacone Senthavy, 44, a citizen of Laos residing in Independence, Mo.; Shelby Lanae Peterman, 26, Christopher Shawn Sharp, 40, and John Paul Gnat, 28, all of St. Joseph, Mo., and Jacob Dale Walsh, 32, of Denton, Kan., were charged in a four-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Mo.  Today’s indictment replaces a federal criminal complaint that was filed against Guzman and Senthavy on Oct. 19, 2018, and contains additional defendants and charges.

The federal indictment alleges that all eight defendants participated in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and in a money-laundering conspiracy over a nearly four-year period from Jan. 1, 2015, to Nov. 14, 2018.  In addition to the conspiracies, Guzman, Senthavy, Caraveo and Nava are charged together in one count of possessing firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking.  Guzman is also charged with illegally reentering the United States after having been deported.

The indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation, which would require the defendants to forfeit to the government $2.1 million, allegedly the proceeds of the drug-trafficking conspiracy (based on a sale price of $600 per ounce and distribution of more than 3,500 ounces – nearly 100 kilograms – of methamphetamine).

According to an affidavit filed in support of the original criminal complaint, law enforcement investigators had identified Guzman as the supplier for the conspiracy.  He allegedly provided one person with three kilograms of methamphetamine every other day; and another person with five kilograms of methamphetamine at each purchase.  Guzman and Senthavy were arrested at Guzman’s residence on Oct. 18, 2018. At the time of their arrest, officers seized two rifles, three handguns, ammunition, methamphetamine, cash and drug paraphernalia from Guzman’s residence.

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. Attorney Bruce Rhoades. It was investigated by the Buchanan County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Jackson County Drug Task Force, the Drug Enforcement Administration.

SOURCE: news provided by JUSTICE.GOV