Thirteen People Indicted for $62-Million Cocaine Conspiracy
A couple from Lee’s Summit, MO are among 13 defendants who were recently indicted by a federal grand jury for their roles in a $62-million conspiracy to distribute more than 2,000 kilograms of cocaine, and a money laundering conspiracy.
The U.S. Attorney's Office says that 41-year old Howard Christian Walters, and his wife, 37-year old Nina Walter, both of Lee’s Summit, along with 47-year old Louis Walker, of Richmond, 38-year old Jose Luis Armendariz-Rascon, and 24-year old Jesus Salvador Campoy-Estrada, both citizens of Mexico residing in Kansas City, KS, 51-year old Franciso Gastelum-Valdez, of Overland Park, 30-year old Miguel Armendariz-Rascon, a citizen of Mexico residing in Olathe, 52-year old Mark High, and Antonio 33-year old Starks-Fewell, both of Springfield, 62-year old Otilio Zaragoza-Navarrette, a Mexican national and lawful permanent resident, and 30-year old Pamela Salais, and her sister, 28-year old Luisa Maria Salais, all of El Paso, Texas, and 29-year old Armando Rosales, Jr., San Elizario, Texas; were charged in a 20-count indictment by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, MO, on November 15.
It was noted that Howard Walters is the owner of L & H Auto Sales in Kansas City, Mo.
The indictment alleges that Howard Walters, Jose Armendariz-Rascon, Campoy-Estrada, High, Starks-Fewell, Miguel Armendariz-Rascon, Zaragoza-Navarrett, Rosales, Pamela Salais and Luisa Salais participated in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine from October 2013 to Nov. 15, 2018.
In addition to the conspiracy, Howard Walters is charged with seven counts of distributing cocaine. Walters is also charged with Campoy-Estrada, High and Starks-Fewell in one count of aiding and abetting the possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute and in one count of aiding and abetting the possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute.
The federal indictment alleges that Howard and Nina Walters, Campoy-Estrada, Gastelum-Valdez and Walker participated in a money-laundering conspiracy during the same timeframe.
In addition to the money-laundering conspiracy, Howard Walters is charged with three counts of money laundering for allegedly purchasing a 2017 Dodge Ram truck and a 2013 Suzuki motorcycle, and the lease of a 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS550, with the proceeds of drug trafficking. Walters and Walker also are charged together in one count of money laundering for allegedly purchasing a 2011 Porsche Panamera with the proceeds of drug trafficking.
Campoy-Estrada is also charged with two counts of money laundering for the alleged purchase of a residence and of a 2011 Cadillac Escalade with the proceeds of drug trafficking.
Howard and Nina Walters were also charged together in one count of money laundering, while separately, Nina is charged with one count of money laundering.
Gastelum-Valdez is also charged with two counts of money laundering related to the alleged purchase of a residential property with the proceeds of drug trafficking.
The indictment also reportedly contains forfeiture allegations, which would require Jose Armendariz-Rascon to forfeit at least $62.4 million, which the U.S Attorney's Office says was received in exchange for the unlawful distribution of cocaine (based on a sale price of $30,000 per kilogram of cocaine and distribution of no less than 10 kilograms of cocaine per week for a period of at least four years).
Additionally, several defendants would be required to forfeit to the government four residential properties, including Howard and Nina Walters’s residence in Lee’s Summit and Campoy-Estrada’s residence in Kansas City. Howard Walters, Campoy-Estrada, High, Starks-Fewell, Miguel Armendariz-Rascon, Zaragoza-Navarrett, Rosales, Pamela Salais and Luisa Salais would be required to forfeit to the government a money judgment in the amount of the proceeds received in exchange for the unlawful distribution of cocaine.