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Indictment: Wichitan conspires with father in drug trafficking, money laundering

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Thursday, April 12, 2012, at 9:29 a.m.
  • Updated Friday, April 13, 2012, at 7:11 a.m.

A 63-count indictment unsealed in U.S. District Court alleges the leader of a cocaine smuggling operation in Wichita conspired with his father to launder more than $174,000 in drug proceeds by purchasing real estate and vehicles, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said Thursday.

Fourteen defendants are named in the indictment that alleges a drug trafficking organization was active in Wichita from Oct. 30, 2010, to this month. The alleged leader of the conspiracy, Juvenal Fernandez Jr., 30, of Wichita, is alleged to have conspired with his father, co-defendant Juvenal G. Fernandez, 56, to launder the drug funds.

Twelve of the defendants are from Wichita, and the other two are from Amarillo, Texas.

Fernandez Jr. was previously convicted of aggravated assault and robbery, according to state correction records. Beginning in 2006, Juvenal G. Fernandez received wire transfers of money from unknown sources in Mexico that were deposited into his personal bank account at Emprise Bank in Wichita.

Juvenal G. Fernandez used the money, which the indictment alleges was cash proceeds from his son’s illegal drug distribution, to purchase real estate properties.

Many of the properties were titled in the name of Juvenal G. Fernandez, although his son continued to exercise control over the assets and received the profits from the sale of the real estate. The indictment alleges drug proceeds were used to purchase 2504 N. Waco, 2760 N. Arkansas, 1833 S. Market, 2345 N. Salina and 3377 N. Wild Thicket, near 29th and Tyler.

Of the phone calls made in completing the alleged transactions, 22 involved numbers with Texas area codes and 11 had New Mexico area codes, according to the indictment. Only one number had a 316, or Wichita, area code.

Charged in the indictment are:

•  Juvenal Fernandez Jr.: One count of conspiracy to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine, 27 counts of using a telephone in furtherance of drug trafficking, one count of unlawful possession of a firearm after a felony conviction, one count of distributing cocaine, one count of unlawful possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, one count of conspiracy to distribute 4,973 grams of cocaine, one count of distributing more than 500 grams of cocaine, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, two counts of money laundering, three counts of unlawful monetary transactions and one count of bank fraud.

•  Aaron G. Gomez, 32, Wichita: One count of conspiracy to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine, one count of distributing 26 grams of cocaine, and three counts of using a telephone in furtherance of drug trafficking.

•  Kristian E. Fernandez, 27, Wichita: One count of conspiracy to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine, seven counts of using a telephone in furtherance of drug trafficking, one count of distributing 26 grams of cocaine and one count of distributing 112 grams of cocaine.

•  Mario Cantu, 29, Wichita: One count of conspiracy to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine, three counts of using a telephone in furtherance of drug trafficking.

•  Rito Mejia Jr., 55, Wichita: One count of conspiracy to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine, and three counts of using a telephone in furtherance of drug trafficking.

•  Francisco Cobos, 26, Wichita: One count of conspiracy to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine.

•  Juvenal G. Fernandez, 56, Wichita: One count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, six counts of money laundering and one count of bank fraud.

•  Alejandro De La Torre-Barrios, 22, Wichita: One count of distributing 26 grams of cocaine and one count of distributing 112 grams of cocaine.

•  Gregory Schmidt II, 26, Wichita: One count of distributing 26 grams of cocaine and one count of distributing 112 grams of cocaine.

•  Desmond Yankey, 27, Wichita: One count of distributing 26 grams of cocaine and one count of distributing 112 grams of cocaine.

•  Maria Machuca, 44, Wichita: One count of conspiracy to distribute 4,973 grams of cocaine, one count of possession of 4,973 grams of cocaine, 16 counts of using a telephone in furtherance of drug trafficking and one count of possession with intent to distribute of 5.45 kilograms of marijuana.

•  Daniel Carrero, 19, Amarillo, Texas: One count of conspiracy to distribute 4,973 grams of cocaine, one count of possession with intent to distribute 4,973 grams of cocaine and three counts of using a telephone in furtherance of drug trafficking,

•  Mario Machuca, 35, Amarillo, Texas: One count of conspiracy to distribute 4,973 grams of cocaine and three counts of using a telephone in furtherance of drug trafficking.

•  Sandra Lozoria, 24, Wichita: One count of possession with intent to distribute 5.45 kilograms of marijuana and two counts of using a telephone in furtherance of drug trafficking.

Reach Rick Plumlee at 316-268-6660 or rplumlee@wichitaeagle.com.

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