Froylan Pedroza-Guadarrama, 31, and Jesus Ricardo-Amaya, 29, both citizens of Mexico, were sentenced in separate hearings before U.S. District Judge Fernando J. Gaitan.
Pedroza-Guadarrama was sentenced to nine years in federal prison without parole. Ricardo-Amaya was sentenced to two years in federal prison without parole.
Co-defendants Eloy Castaneda-Gonzalez, 34, Beroldo Almazan, 34, and Adolfo Almazan-Hernandez, 43, all of whom are Mexican nationals residing in California, Mo., have also been sentenced. Castaneda-Gonzalez was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison without parole. Almazan was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered them to forfeit to the government $52,928, which was derived from the offense. Almazan-Hernandez was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison without parole.
Ricardo-Amaya, Castaneda-Gonzalez, Almazan and Almazan-Hernandez each pleaded guilty to their roles in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and a conspiracy to distribute cocaine. Pedroza-Guadarrama pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy to distribute cocaine.
According to court documents, a DEA agent learned that Castaneda-Gonzalez wanted to purchase seven kilograms of cocaine from two cooperating sources. The DEAâ€™s cooperating sources agreed to travel to Missouri and deliver the cocaine for $24,000 per kilogram. On June 21, 2012, the cooperating sources directed Castaneda-Gonzalez to meet them at a Jefferson City, Mo., motel.
Castaneda-Gonzalez was accompanied by Almazan and Almazan-Hernandez when he arrived at the motel room. Castaneda-Gonzalez explained that he didnâ€™t have all of the money to purchase seven kilograms of cocaine, but offered to provide the cooperating sources with five pounds of methamphetamine, along with a portion of the money, in exchange for the cocaine. They accepted the offer, and Castaneda-Gonzalez, Almazan and Hernandez left the motel room, stating they would return shortly with the methamphetamine and money.
Approximately one and a half hours later, Castaneda-Gonzalez, Almazan and Almazan-Hernandez returned to the motel room. Castaneda-Gonzalez gave the cooperating sources a package that contained nearly one pound of crystal methamphetamine. A short time later, Almazan-Hernandez left the room momentarily and returned with a bag containing the remaining four pounds of crystal methamphetamine. While inside the motel room, Almazan made several telephone calls which sounded like he was arranging for Almazan-Hernandez to meet with one or more of Almazanâ€™s customers at a nearby McDonaldâ€™s. Almazan-Hernandez returned approximately 30 minutes later with $20,000 in cash. The cooperating sources then provided Castaneda-Gonzalez with one kilogram of cocaine to inspect, and told him they were going to leave the room to obtain the remaining six kilograms.
Castaneda-Gonzalez became extremely nervous and fled from the room, followed by Almazan, but both were apprehended after a brief foot chase. Almazan-Hernandez was also taken into custody as he walked out of the motel room.
Based on Almazanâ€™s telephone calls, investigators believed that additional conspirators were at a nearby McDonaldâ€™s. Investigators located Pedroza-Guadarrama, Ricardo-Amaya and co-defendant Victor Hugo De La Roza-Garza, 32, a Mexican national, who were arrested in separate car stops as they left the McDonaldâ€™s. Officers discovered $15,000 inside a bag on the back seat of De La Rozaâ€™s vehicle and another $14,000 hidden in a false compartment of a toolbox.
De La Roza-Garza pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy to distribute cocaine and awaits sentencing.