KANSAS CITY, MO (USDOJ.Today) A Mexican national who resided in Springfield, Missouri, was sentenced in federal court today for his role in a conspiracy to distribute large amounts of methamphetamine in the Kansas City, Missouri, area and in the Springfield area.
Luis Manuel Gonzalez-Rodriguez, 44, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Greg Kays to 16 years and eight months in federal prison without parole.
On Jan. 6, 2020, Gonzalez-Rodriguez pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime, and illegally reentering the United States after having been deported.
Gonzalez-Rodriguez was arrested on Nov. 2, 2017, when law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at his residence. Gonzalez-Rodriguez attempted to flush approximately 157.1 grams of methamphetamine down the toilet as officers entered the residence. Officers searched the residence and found an additional 3.7 grams of pure methamphetamine, cocaine, a Walther .380-caliber semi-automatic pistol that had been reported stolen in Arkansas, ammunition, 14 cell phones, ledgers and drug notes, and $21,558. Gonzalez-Rodriguez admitted that he was illegally present in the United States. He was deported in October 2011 after previously having been convicted of illegally reentering the United States.
Gonzalez-Rodriguez’s plea agreement cites several controlled purchases of methamphetamine by cooperating law enforcement sources, as well as his involvement in several controlled purchases by a cooperating source from co-defendant Jason Edward Hochard, 41, of Kansas City, Kansas, during the investigation of the drug-trafficking organization.
Hochard was sentenced on July 30, 2020, to 14 years and eight months in federal prison without parole.
On Nov. 1, 2017, co-defendant Darely Dominguez-Bustillos, 26, of Kansas City, Kansas, delivered one pound of methamphetamine to Gonzalez-Rodriguez. Dominguez-Bustillos then transported $8,000 in illicit drug proceeds from Gonzalez-Rodriguez back to her residence. Law enforcement discovered this money when they later executed a search warrant at her residence and in the vehicles located at that residence.
Dominguez-Bustillos was sentenced on May 20, 2020, to four years in federal prison without parole.
Gonzalez-Rodriguez’s plea agreement also cites multiple deliveries of methamphetamine to co-defendant Tara Hageman, 45, of Springfield. When law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Hageman’s residence, they seized 103 grams of pure methamphetamine and two handguns.
Hageman, who admitted she distributed the methamphetamine to others, was sentenced on March 11, 2020, to seven years in federal prison without parole.
Co-defendant Armando Quintana-Galaz, 38, a citizen of Mexico residing in Springfield, was sentenced on May 26, 2020, to 16 years and eight months in federal prison without parole. Quintana-Galaz had been deported from the United States six times before being arrested on Nov. 2, 2017, in Springfield. At that time, he was again illegally present in the United States. When law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Quintana-Galaz’s residence on that day, they found approximately 3.159 kilograms of pure methamphetamine in a hamper in the master bathroom and approximately 189 grams of pure methamphetamine in a dresser in the master bedroom. They found a Ruger 9mm semi-automatic handgun, a Norinco SKS 762-caliber rifle, various ammunition, a bag that contained approximately four grams of cocaine, and six cell phones. They also found a Taurus 9mm semi-automatic handgun in his Jeep Grand Cherokee. Officers also found $40,020 in a dresser in the master bedroom, $6,295 in the pocket of his pants that were on a TV stand, and $293 in a suitcase in the master bathroom closet. According to his plea agreement, the $46,608 seized from Quintana-Galaz’s residence would convert to more than 2.6 kilograms (2,642.6 grams) of methamphetamine.
Co-defendant Miguel Angel Ramirez-Romero, 27, a citizen of Mexico residing in Kansas City, Kan., was sentenced on Nov. 13, 2019, to 14 years in federal prison without parole.
Gonzalez-Rodriguez is the final defendant in this case to be sentenced, among six defendants who have been convicted.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Trey Alford. It was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).