Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that five Kansas City, Mo., residents were convicted by a federal jury today for their roles in one of the largest cocaine trafficking rings in the Kansas City area.
Operation Blockbuster dismantled a local drug-trafficking organization that smuggled hundreds of kilograms of cocaine worth millions of dollars from Mexico to distribute in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Operation Blockbuster was a multi-agency investigation that also involved the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Kansas.
Adrian Dunn, also known as “A.D.,” 37, Vincent E. Charles, also known as “Zeno” or “Z,” 42, Danny R. Moore, 54, Cheo D. Miles, 38, and Dennis Westbrook, also known as “Westcrook,” 31, all of Kansas City, Mo., were found guilty of participating in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana from January 2007 to August 2009. In addition to the drug-trafficking conspiracy, Dunn, Moore and Westbrook were each convicted of using a telephone to facilitate the distribution of cocaine and marijuana. All of the defendants remain in federal custody pending a sentencing hearing.
Evidence introduced during the trial indicated that the leader of the conspiracy, co-defendant Alejandro S. Corredor, also known as “Lou Lou,” “Rolo,” and “Alex,” 36, a citizen of Colombia residing in Kansas City, Mo., had connections with a Mexican drug cartel. Corredor called his supplier in Mexico to order cocaine to be delivered to the Kansas City metropolitan area. A normal load of cocaine would be from 20 to 50 kilograms, which was smuggled in vehicles driven to Kansas City from Mexico. After Corredor sold the cocaine and collected the money, he packaged the cash in bundles that were hidden in false compartments of various vehicles. The vehicles would then deliver the money to the El Paso, Texas, area, where it would be transported across the border into Mexico.
Corredor pleaded guilty on July 7, 2010, to his role as the leader of the drug-trafficking conspiracy, as well as to cash smuggling, money laundering and illegally possessing a firearm. Corredor also admitted that he was involved in plans to assassinate two men in the Kansas City area in April and June 2009. One cartel-ordered assassination resulted in a Mexican national being shot and wounded in June 2009. The second murder resulted in the death of Steven James in April 2009.
Law enforcement officers seized large quantities of cocaine and marijuana and millions of dollars in alleged drug proceeds during the investigation. For example, while executing a search warrant at a Kansas City, Mo., residence, officers seized 46 kilogram bundles of cocaine, $151,000, and a drug ledger. The ledger showed that during a four-month period of time this drug-trafficking organization distributed more than 800 kilograms of cocaine and received $10 million in drug proceeds.
Law enforcement officers also seized more than $1.6 million that was hidden in two vehicles on March 9, 2009. Agents were conducting surveillance at a Kansas City residence that day when they observed co-defendants hiding what they learned were bundles of cash inside the door panels of a Jeep Cherokee. The Jeep was stopped by a trooper with the Missouri State Highway Patrol while traveling through Cass County, Mo. During a search of the Jeep and a Nissan that was being towed, the trooper recovered 163 bundles of cash. Among several other cash seizures, officers seized nearly $654,000 in a traffic stop on May 9, 2009, and more than $50,000 from another vehicle on May19, 2009, all of which was proceeds from the drug-trafficking conspiracy.
Following the presentation of evidence, the jury in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City deliberated for about five hours before returning the guilty verdict to U.S. District Judge Nanette K. Laughrey, ending a trial that began Monday, Feb. 14, 2011.
Nine co-defendants have pleaded guilty to charges contained in a Aug. 20, 2009, superseding indictment, including Corredor, his wife, Cindi M. Corredor, 29 (a U.S. citizen), Roy D. Murray, also known as “Wonderbread,” 37, Daoud L. Homes, also known as “Bootsie,” 32, Nicholas L. Lathen, also known as “Sleeze,” 25, and Sean Charles, also known as “Slim,” 27, all of Kansas City, Mo., Terrance M. Harris, also known as “T-Nutty,” 25, of Independence, Mo., Kendall L. Howard, 31, of Kansas City, Kan., and Delondo Bellamy, also known as “Lando,” 45, of Oakland, Calif.
Under federal statutes, each of the defendants convicted today 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. Sentencing hearings will be scheduled after the completion of presentence investigations by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph M. Marquez and Patrick D. Daly. It was investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration, IRS-Criminal Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department.