15 indicted for conspiring to distribute cocaine in Kansas, elsewhere

Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 3:59 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - A federal grand jury in Kansas City on Friday, Sept. 24, returned an indictment charging 15 people with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute illegal drugs. Court documents accuse the 15 defendants of conspiring to distribute cocaine in Kansas and elsewhere between January 2019 and September 2021.

The defendants include Santiago Gamboa-Saenz, 34, Maria Cota, 32, Efrain Garcia-Perez, 37, Dimas Calixto-Filho, 41, Juan Avarez-Perez, 35, Bryan Dominguez-Green, 20, Irlanda Grajeda, 31, Vladimir Blanco-Garciga, 49, Miguel Vazquez-Rodriguez, 35, Eduardo Ramirez-Ochoa, 32, Jesus Gonzalez-Rodriguez, 30, Homero Baca-Marquez, 23, Jaime Ocampo, 57, Jose Cera-Acosta, 35, and Frank De La Cruz, 36.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Kansas City and the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Northeast Kansas Drug Task Force are investigating the case.

“Drug trafficking organizations are all about making money,” said Assistant Agent in Charge Rogeana Patterson-King, DEA lead for the state of Kansas. “This joint federal and state investigation stopped more than a million dollars’ worth of cocaine from reaching our communities, and more than $730,000 of proceeds from returning to the organization. This is particularly satisfying because this illegal industry jeopardizes public safety with these dangerous drugs.”

HSI Kansas City Special Agent in Charge Katherine Greer said agents, working with state and federal law enforcement partners, “were able to prevent a substantial amount of dangerous narcotics from reaching the streets and jeopardizing the safety of people who live there.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said this operation is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. The U.S. attorney explained the OCDETF “identifies , disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

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