Charges allege Wichita drug ring tied to Mexico

WICHITA — A federal grand jury has returned a 107-count indictment against 18 men accused of being part of a Wichita drug-trafficking ring linked to Mexico, U.S. Attorney Lanny Welch said today.

The indictment "describes a far-reaching operation in which conspirators carried guns and laundered significant sums of cash from peddling drugs," the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Five of the defendants are alleged to be Mexican citizens who committed crimes after illegally entering the United States, the office said.

Two defendants are charged in counts alleging they used violence and threats of violence to collect drug debts.

In charges targeting proceeds of the alleged crimes, the government seeks judgments of up to $197,000 from certain alleged conspirators.

Named in the indictment are: Alejandro Calderon, 33, Wichita; Jesus Cisneros, 26, Wichita; Jose Fernando Espinoza-Placensia, 34; Tyler Green, 26, Zenda; Heriberto Miranda-Roldan, 24; Juan Manuel Ortiz, 26; Jose Gomez Solorio, 31; Omar Torres, 24; Rudolph Beach III, 23, Wichita; Henry Brooks, 37, Wichita; Esteban Gauna, 30, Wichita; Timothy Lawrence, 23, Wichita; Ricardo Q. Quintana, 25; Armando Rodriguez, 32, Wichita; Julio Ruiz Rios, 24, Wichita; Audon Soto Salas, 38, Wichita; Wesley Shelton, 49, Wichita; and Luis Valeriano, 19, Wichita.

The Drug Enforcement Administration has investigated the case, and the U.S. Attorney's office is prosecuting it.