A Mexican national in Kansas City, Missouri, has been sentenced in federal court for his role in a conspiracy to distribute marijuana, illegally possessing a firearm, and illegally entering the United States for the sixth time.
Uriel L. Martinez, 24, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Stephen R. Bough on Wednesday, Feb. 26, to six years in federal prison without parole.
Co-defendant Omar A. Bustillos, 34, of Kansas City, Missouri, pleaded guilty to his role in the drug-trafficking conspiracy on Tuesday, Feb. 25. Bustillos admitted he was responsible for distributing or possessing at least 1.966 kilograms of heroin, 2.6 kilograms of methamphetamine, and 4.8 kilograms of marijuana.
On Oct. 21, 2019, Martinez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute marijuana, possessing firearms in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime, and illegally reentering the United States.
Martinez had previously been deported from the United States on five separate occasions between April 12, 2015, and April 19, 2018.
According to court documents, Martinez’s role in the drug-trafficking conspiracy was limited to marijuana. Martinez was responsible for distributing or possessing at least 50 kilograms of marijuana. Both Martinez and Bustillos admitted that $64,600 seized by law enforcement was proceeds from the sale of illegal drugs.
According to court documents, Martinez was arrested in California in 2017 when law enforcement officers found 98 large marijuana plants (approximately six to eight feet in height and four to five feet in width) on the property where he had been living. The total weight of the plants was 5,100 pounds. Martinez failed to appear in court and those charges are still pending.
Detectives with the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department executed a search warrant on the residence of co-defendant Nathan R. Carpenter, 28, of Kansas City, Missouri, on Jan. 8, 2019, and seized nearly a kilogram of heroin, more than 1.2 kilograms of marijuana, 86.19 grams of methamphetamine, a stolen Romarm 7.62×39 caliber, AK-style rifle, a Taurus .22-caliber handgun and a Remington .22-caliber semi-automatic rifle. Carpenter told investigators he was holding the approximately two pounds of heroin for Bustillos and his girlfriend, co-defendant Tonya Marie Thomas, 34, of Kansas City, Missouri, who were Carpenter’s suppliers for narcotics.
On Jan. 15, 2019, detectives executed a search warrant at the residence of Thomas and Martinez (where Bustillos also resided before his arrest on unrelated state charges). They seized more than a kilogram of heroin, 605.81 grams of methamphetamine, more than 4.7 kilograms of marijuana, 31 acetaminophen/hydrocodone pills, a Smith and Wesson .40-caliber handgun, a Stoeger 9mm handgun, an SCCY 9mm handgun, $20,283, and two drug ledgers. Officers also found $44,317 in Thomas’s vehicle, along with approximately 73.26 grams of marijuana. Thomas told detectives she had been selling methamphetamine since Bustillos was arrested, and estimated selling a quarter pound of methamphetamine every day during the previous two weeks.
Martinez, Carpenter, Bustillos, and Thomas are among six defendants who have pleaded guilty in this case. Martinez is the first defendant to be sentenced.