Crime & Courts

Father faces prison, fine in cocaine trafficking case

A Wichita man who helped his son launder cash earned from trafficking cocaine faces up to three years in prison and a hefty fine for his role in the crime.

Juvenal G. Fernandez, 57, has pleaded guilty to a single count of misprision for not telling police that his son, 31-year-old Juvenal Fernandez Jr., was trafficking drugs into the Wichita area, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom’s office said Wednesday.

Juvenal G. Fernandez is one of 14 people indicted in March 2012 on drug charges related to the case, Grissom said in a news release. The indictment alleges all were involved in an organization led by his son and that the elder Fernandez used money earned to buy real estate.

Grissom’s office gave this account:

Juvenal G. Fernandez admitted to federal prosecutors that unknown sources in Mexico deposited money into his personal account at Emprise Bank starting in 2006. After receiving a wire transfer of $13,000 on March 27, 2006, he opened another account at the bank under the name Remnew Construction.

The money then was used to buy several properties, some of which were titled under the 57-year-old’s name. But the younger Fernandez controlled the real estate and profited from their sale.

The elder Fernandez is scheduled for sentencing on April 1. He faces up to a three-year prison term and a maximum fine of $250,000.

The younger Fernandez faces sentencing Feb. 4.

Other co-defendants from Wichita sentenced in the case were Aaron Gomez, 33, 50 months; Kristian Fernandez, 28, 48 months; Mario Cantu, 30, 30 months; and Francisco Cobos, 27, 46 months.

Set for sentencing in February are Wichitans Alejandro De La Torre-Barrios, 23; Maria Machuca, 44; and Sandra Lozoria, 24. Rito Mejia Jr., 55, also of Wichita, will be sentenced later this month.

Awaiting trial are Desmond Yankey, 27, of Wichita; and Daniel Carrero, 20, and 35-year-old Mario Machuca, 35, both of Amarillo, Texas.