Three Mexican nationals have been sentenced this week in federal court for their respective roles in a conspiracy to distribute large amounts of methamphetamine, a stimulant that is often used recreationally.
They were handed federal sentences ranging between 10-12 years without the possibility of parole. The three conspirators are Alfredo Soto-Contreras, a.k.a. Antonio, 38, of Kansas City, Missouri; Omar Eliseo Barraza-Bueno, 32, of Arvin, California; and Rey Moreno-Chepe, 26, of also from Kansas City, Missouri.
Selling Drugs and Firearms
The investigation into the conspiracy to traffic massive amounts of methamphetamine concluded on December 18, 2018, after four co-conspirators were arrested while being in possession of nearly 25 pounds of methamphetamine during an undercover operation.
In total, the Mexican nationals sold (or attempted to sell) nearly 13 kilograms of the stimulant to an undercover of the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives). They also sold eight firearms to the undercover ATF agent. Several of these firearms had been reported stolen previously.
Pleading Guilty To Charges
Each of the defendants pleaded guilty for being involved in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine from May to December 2018. They also pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to use firearms in a drug-trafficking crime. Additionally, all three also pleaded guilty to one count of using a firearm in a drug-trafficking crime.
For aiding and abetting the possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute it, Moreno-Chepe and Barraza-Bueno, both pleaded guilty. A fourth co-conspirator, also a Mexican national Daniel Calderon-Vargas, 31, has already pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.
For the charges he has been found guilty of, Soto-Contreras has been sentenced to 10 years and 10 months in federal prison without parole. Again, without the option of parole, Barraza-Bueno has been sentenced to 18 years in federal prison. For the counts that Moreno-Chepe pleaded guilty to, he was sentenced to years and eight months in federal prison, also without parole.