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Contraband
10/07/2011

5 sentenced for international drug smuggling conspiracy in Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Five local men were sentenced in federal court last week for their roles in one of the largest cocaine trafficking rings in the Kansas City-area. 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 joint investigation among the following agencies: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); the U.S. Attorney's Office in Kansas; and the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department.

Adrian Dunn, aka "A.D.," 37, Cheo D. Miles, 38, and Dennis Westbrook, aka "Westcrook," 32, all of Kansas City, Mo., were sentenced in separate hearings Oct. 7 before U.S. District Judge Nanette K. Laughrey. Dunn was sentenced to 21 years and 10 months in federal prison without parole. Miles and Westbrook were each sentenced to 20 years in federal prison without parole.

Danny R. Moore, 54, and Vincent E. Charles, aka "Zeno" or "Z," 43, both of Kansas City, Mo., were sentenced on Oct. 5. Moore was sentenced to 14 years and seven months in federal prison without parole. Charles was sentenced to 12 years and seven months in federal prison without parole.

On Feb. 17, all five men were found guilty at trial of participating in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana from January 2007 to August 2009. In addition to the drug trafficking conspiracy, Dunn, Moore and Westbrook were each convicted of using a telephone to facilitate the distribution of cocaine and marijuana.

Evidence introduced during the trial indicated that the leader of the conspiracy, co-defendant Alejandro S. Corredor, aka "Lou Lou," "Rolo," and "Alex," 36, a citizen of Colombia residing in Kansas City, Mo., had connections with a Mexican drug cartel. Corredor called his supplier in Mexico to order cocaine to be delivered to the Kansas City metropolitan area. A normal load of cocaine would be between 20 and 50 kilograms. It 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 was transported across the border into Mexico.

Corredor, who awaits sentencing, pleaded guilty on July 7, 2010, to his role as the leader of the drug trafficking conspiracy, as well as 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 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 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.

The following eight additional co-defendants have pleaded guilty and been sentenced: Daoud L. Homes, aka "Bootsie," 33, of Kansas City, Mo., was sentenced to 11 years and eight months in federal prison without parole. Kendall L. Howard, 31, of Kansas City, Kan., was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison without parole. Terrance M. Harris, aka "T-Nutty," 25, of Independence, Mo., was sentenced to five years in federal prison without parole. Roy D. Murray, aka "Wonderbread," 38, of Kansas City, Mo., was sentenced to three years in federal prison without parole. Sean Charles, aka "Slim," 28, of Kansas City, Mo., was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison without parole. Nicholas L. Lathen, aka "Sleeze," 26, of Kansas City, Mo., was sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison without parole. Delondo Bellamy, aka "Lando," 46, of Oakland, Calif., was sentenced to three months in federal prison without parole. Corredor's wife, Cindi M. Corredor, 29, of Kansas City, Mo., (a U.S. citizen), was sentenced to five years of probation.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph M. Marquez and Patrick D. Daly, Western District of Missouri, are prosecuting the case.