A judge sentences a man to 8 years for his involvement in a meth trafficking ring in Kansas City.

A man was recently sentenced to 8.5 years in prison for his role in a drug trafficking ring based in the Kansas City metro area.

Edwar Salazar-Belleda, aged 34, has entered a guilty plea for the charge of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. This information was shared by the U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas.

The man was involved in an international drug trafficking operation that distributed illegally smuggled meth from Mexico. His accomplices unlawfully laundered the proceeds by making wire payments to individuals in Mexico and California.

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation and Homeland Security Investigations recently conducted an extensive undercover operation from August 2019 to May 2021. Throughout the investigation, the agencies successfully made several purchases of meth, heroin, and firearms.

Romel Alvarado-Calderon, a 27-year-old resident of Kansas City, Kansas, led the criminal operation, with Salazar-Belleda serving as his broker.

In April 2021, Salazar-Belleda was apprehended by law enforcement officers following the discovery of a trash bag in his hotel room. Inside the bag, they found 7.57 kilograms of methamphetamine with a purity level of 98.6%. Furthermore, his suitcase contained digital scales, methamphetamine, heroin, a stolen firearm, and ammunition.

During the investigation into the conspiracy, law enforcement authorities purchased and seized more than 150 kilograms of meth, 11 ounces of heroin, marijuana, and numerous firearms.

Romel Alvarado-Calderon, Victor Troches-Reyes, Hervey Moreno-Gonzalez, Jesus Vigil-Canales, and Victor Pardo-Jimenez have all admitted to conspiring to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine.

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Juana Infante-Garcia, aged 36, Gabriela Garcia-Rojas, aged 28, and Sergio Galvez-Rodriguez, aged 34, all admitted to conspiring to launder drug proceeds.

There are several defendants who have cases pending in court.

The investigation of this case was conducted by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and Homeland Security Investigation. The prosecution was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michelle McFarlane, David Zabel, and Sheri Catania.

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