Six Men Charged on Account of Drug Conspiracies
JEFFERSON CITY — David M. Ketchmark, acting United States attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that six men were charged in federal court today for their roles in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine in Cole and Moniteau counties.
Eloy Castaneda-Gonzalez, 32, of California, Beroldo Almazan, 32, and Adolfo Hernandez-Almazan, 41, both of California, Mo., and Froylan Pedroza-Guadarrama, 29, Victor Hugo De La Roza-Garza 30, and Jesus Ricardo-Amaya, 26, of Columbia were charged in a two-count criminal complaint that was filed in the U.S. District Court in Jefferson City, Mo.
According to an affidavit filed in support of the complaint, two cooperating sources had been negotiating a seven-kilogram cocaine transaction with Castaneda-Gonzalez, who was suspected (based upon a prior investigation) of being the source of supply of methamphetamine for Almazan.
Gonzalez allegedly wanted the sources to deliver seven kilograms of cocaine to him in California, Mo., and they agreed to sell the cocaine for $24,000 per kilogram. According to the affidavit, Castaneda-Gonzalez indicated that he had numerous buyers in Missouri involved in distributing the cocaine.
The cooperating sources met Castaneda-Gonzalez, accompanied by Almazan and Hernandez-Almazan, at a Jefferson City motel room on Thursday, April 21, 2012. Castaneda-Gonzalez told them he didn't have all of the money to purchase seven kilograms of cocaine, the affidavit says, and offered to provide five pounds of methamphetamine along with a portion of the money in exchange for the cocaine. They accepted the offer and then left, stating that they would return shortly.
When Almazan and Hernandez-Almazan returned to the motel room, Castaneda-Gonzalez and the other two allegedly provided the cooperating sources with the methamphetamine. Hernandez-Almazan left the room, the affidavit says, and Almazan could be heard on the phone making arrangements for Hernandez to meet one or more of Almazan's customers at a nearby McDonald's. Hernandez-Almazan returned to the motel room about 30 minutes later and placed $20,000 in cash on the bed.
The cooperating sources gave Castaneda-Gonzalez one kilogram of cocaine to inspect and told him they were going to leave the room to get the remaining six kilograms. Castaneda-Gonzalez became extremely nervous, the affidavit says, and fled from the room with Almazan. Both of them were apprehended after a brief foot chase; Hernandez-Almazan was also taken into custody as he walked out of the motel room.
Investigators later located Pedroza-Guadarrama, De la Roza and Ricardo-Amaya at the nearby McDonald's. They left in two vehicles, which were stopped by law enforcement officers. De La Roza told officers he had $15,000 inside his vehicle. A drug-sniffing dog alerted on a toolbox in the other vehicle, which contained $14,000 in cash inside a hidden compartment.
Ketchmark cautioned that the charges contained in this complaint 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.
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