Officers Seized 25 Pounds of Meth in Undercover Operation

KANSAS CITY, MO (STL.News) Three Mexican nationals have been sentenced in federal court this week for their roles in a conspiracy to distribute large quantities of methamphetamine.

Alfredo Soto-Contreras, also known as “Antonio,” 38, of Kansas City, Missouri, was sentenced today by U.S. Chief District Judge Beth Phillips to 10 years and 10 months in federal prison without parole.  Omar Eliseo Barraza-Bueno, 32, of Arvin, California, was sentenced on June 18, 2020, to 18 years in federal prison without parole.  Rey Moreno-Chepe, 26, of Kansas City, Missouri, was sentenced on June 17, 2020, to 11 years and eight months in federal prison without parole.

Soto-Contreras, Barraza-Bueno, and Moreno-Chepe each pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine from May to December 2018. Each of them also pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to use firearms in a drug-trafficking crime, and one count of using a firearm in a drug-trafficking crime.  Barraza-Bueno and Moreno-Chepe also each pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute.

This investigation into a conspiracy to traffic large quantities of methamphetamine ended on Dec. 18, 2018, when four co-conspirators were arrested in possession of approximately 25 pounds of methamphetamine during an undercover operation.  Conspirators sold (or attempted to sell) a total of approximately 13 kilograms of methamphetamine to an undercover agent of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  Conspirators also sold eight firearms to the undercover agent, including several that had been reported as stolen.

Co-defendant Daniel Calderon-Vargas, 31, a Mexican national residing in Arvin, has pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Q. McCarther.  It was investigated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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