Thursday, June 14, 2012

Columbian National Sentenced to 30 Years for Multi–Million Dollar Drug–Trafficking Conspiracy

Mexican Drug Cartels Smuggled Hundreds of Kilograms of Cocaine to KC

KANSAS CITY, Mo. B David M. Ketchmark, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kansas City, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for leading one of the largest cocaine trafficking rings in the metropolitan area.

Alejandro S. Corredor, also known as ALou Lou,@ ARolo,@ and AAlex,@ 37, a citizen of Colombia residing in Kansas City, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Nanette K. Laughrey to 30 years in federal prison without parole.

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, resulting in three separate indictments that charged a total of 31 defendants.

On July 7, 2010, Corredor pleaded guilty to leading the conspiracy to distribute cocaine from January 2007 to August 2009. Corredor, who had connections with a Mexican drug cartel, 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.

In addition to the drug–trafficking conspiracy, Corredor pleaded guilty 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 Operation Blockbuster 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 May 19, 2009, all of which was proceeds from the drug–trafficking conspiracy.

Corredor is the final defendant to be sentenced in this case. Five co–defendants were convicted at trial and eight additional co–defendants pleaded guilty.

This case was 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.

No comments: