KANSAS CITY, KAN. – A married couple was sentenced to federal prison today for being part of a drug ring that distributed methamphetamine from Mexico in the Kansas City metro area, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said.
Marlon Gutierrez, 41, Kansas City, Kan., was sentenced to 260 months in federal prison. Karen Ortega, 43, Kansas City, Kan., was sentenced to 168 months in federal prison. Previously, co-defendant Edelfonso Gonzalez-Gonzalez was sentenced to 30 years.
Gutierrez and Ortega pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
In their pleas, they admitted they rented a house from co-defendant Gonzalez-Gonzalez in the 3000 block of North 34th Street in Kansas City, Kan. They lived there with Ortega’s minor children. One condition of renting the house was to monitor the property including a detached garage where the traffickers stored narcotics. Gutierrez, who was a drug courier for Gonzalez-Gonzalez, had a key to the garage. When investigators served a search warrant at the residence they found approximately 20 pounds of methamphetamine, 1.8 pounds of heroin and more than $230,000 in cash.
In her plea, Ortega admitted federal investigators had her under surveillance when she met another conspirator in a Wal-Mart parking lot at 10824 Parallel Parkway and sold almost two pounds of methamphetamine for $4,500.
McAllister commended the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Assistant U.S. Attorney Terra Morehead and Assistant U.S. Attorney Sheri Catania for their work on the case.