A Mexican national has been convicted in federal court for his role in a conspiracy that distributed more than 2,600 kilograms (5,732 pounds) of cocaine in the greater Kansas City area.
Jesus Salvador Campoy-Estrada, also known as “Chava” and “Chavita”, 27, of Kansas City, Kansas, was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison without parole by Chief US District Judge Beth Phillips. The court also ordered Campoy-Estrada to forfeit the government $12,150,000, representing proceeds from the illegal drug trade.
On December 19, 2019, Campoy-Estrada pleaded guilty to one charge of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and one charge of money laundering. He is the latest defendant among 13 defendants convicted in this case.
When Campoy-Estrada was arrested, law enforcement searched his home and found $111,995, which he admitted was proceeds of illegal drugs, marijuana, a drug book and a loaded XD 9mm semi-automatic pistol.
Campoy-Estrada was a principal organizer of a drug trafficking organization that distributed significant amounts of cocaine from Mexico in the greater Kansas City area from October 2013 to November 15, 2018. Campoy-Estrada admitted that he was personally responsible for distributing well over 450 kilograms of cocaine during his involvement in the larger conspiracy. At one point he was dispensing about 10 to 20 kilograms of cocaine every week.
Campoy-Estrada received significant sums of money from his involvement in the drug trafficking conspiracy, which he converted to other forms of property, such as real estate, to disguise the illicit nature of the drug proceeds.
Campoy-Estrada obtained cocaine from conspiracy leader co-defendant Jose Luis Armendariz-Rascon, also known as “Uncle” or “Rambo”, 41, of Kansas City, Kansas. Campoy-Estrada then sold cocaine to other cocaine traffickers, including co-defendant Howard Christopher Walters, also known as “Chris”, 44, of Lee’s Summit, Missouri. Investigators intercepted multiple phone calls in which Campoy-Estrada and Walters discussed selling several kilograms of cocaine to Walters. Law enforcement also intercepted many other wired and electronic communications between Campoy-Estrada and people to whom he sold cocaine during the course of the conspiracy.
Armendariz-Rascon was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison without parole on May 21, 2021. Walters was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison without parole on April 21, 2021 after pleading guilty to his role in the drug trafficking conspiracy. The court also ordered Armendariz-Rascon to forfeit more than $56 million to the government, representing revenue from the illegal drug trade.
Armendariz-Rascon was responsible for coordinating the transportation of cocaine shipments from the El Paso, Texas area to the greater Kansas City area for distribution. Armendariz-Rascon then coordinated the collection of cash, which was shipped back to El Paso as payment for the cocaine.
Otilio Zaragoza-Navarrette, 65, of El Paso, supplied cocaine to Jose Armendariz-Rascon, as well as Campoy-Estrada and Miguel Armendariz-Rascon, 33, a Mexican national residing in Olathe, Kan. Zaragoza-Navarrette, and Miguel Armendariz-Rascon have pleaded guilty and have been convicted.
Zaragoza-Navarette also transported illegal drug proceeds from the drug trafficking organization back to Texas and/or Mexico. Zaragoza-Navarrette hid the cocaine and/or cash proceeds in five-gallon gas cans and anti-freeze jugs on his commercial trailer truck. In one instance, law enforcement officials seized nearly $500,000 from Zaragoza-Navarrette, who wired the proceeds of illegal drugs in an operation orchestrated by Armendariz-Rascon.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant US Attorneys Trey Alford and Robert Smith. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI, the IRS-Criminal Investigation, and the Lee’s Summit, Missouri Police Department.