Owner of Rockstar Burgers in Kansas City among 18 defendants indicted for $1.7 million drug-trafficking conspiracy

Drug Trafficking

The owner of the Rockstar Burgers restaurant in Kansas City, Missouri, is among 18 defendants indicted by a federal grand jury for their roles in a conspiracy to distribute more than 150 kilograms of methamphetamine and more than 10 kilograms of heroin, valued at more than $1.7 million. Most of the defendants are also charged with illegally possessing firearms.

Rockstar Burgers owner Brian Douglas Smith, 42, Kamel Mahgub Elburki, 32, Ashley Brooke Clevenger, 38, Rachel Gale Simpson, 37, Daniel Jessie Ruiz, 36, Matthew John Fabulae, 31, and Ian Lee Cook, 27, all of Kansas City, Mo.; Cory Matthew Jobe, 28, of Independence, Mo.; Mary Ruth Craft, 42, of Gladstone, Mo.; Tayler Charles Jones, 26, of Liberty, Mo.; Ashley Anne Fries, 23, of Riverside, Mo.; Justin Ren’e Ramirez, 24, of Bolivar, Mo.; James Russell Schroeder, 47, of Marshfield, Mo.; Michael Paul Lambert, 43, of Hartville, Mo.; Seth Alan Turbyfill, 31, of Chillicothe, Mo; Amy Leann Nieman, 49, of Moorseville, Mo.; and Richard Dean Saettone II, 39, and Megan Elizabeth (Lawson) Jackson, 27, addresses unknown, were charged in a 25-count superseding indictment returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Mo., on Sept. 30, 2020. 

The indictment was unsealed and made public today upon the arrests and initial court appearances of several defendants, including Smith. This superseding indictment replaces the original indictment returned on Dec. 12, 2019, and includes eight additional defendants and additional charges.

The federal indictment alleges that all 18 defendants participated in a conspiracy from Jan. 1, 2017, to Sept. 30, 2020, to distribute more than 150 kilograms of methamphetamine and more than 10 kilograms of heroin. All of the defendants are also charged in a money-laundering conspiracy involving the proceeds of the drug-trafficking conspiracy.

In addition to the drug-trafficking and money-laundering conspiracies, Elburki, Jones, Simpson, Jobe, Ramirez, Ruiz, Fabulae, Saettone, Craft, Schroeder, Lambert, and Jackson are charged together in one count of possessing 500 grams or more of methamphetamine and one kilogram or more of heroin to distribute.

Smith, Elburki, Jones, Jobe, Ramirez, Ruiz, Fries, Fabulae, Saettone, Craft, Turbyfill, and Nieman each also is charged with illegally possessing firearms in connection with their drug-trafficking crimes.

Elburkie, Jones, Jobe, Fries, Fabulae, Saettone, Craft, Turbyfill, and Nieman each also is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. Ramirez, Ruiz, and Fabulae each also is charged with being an unlawful user of controlled substances in possession of firearms and ammunition.

The federal indictment also contains forfeiture allegations, which would require the defendants to forfeit to the government all property derived from the proceeds of the drug-trafficking conspiracy, including a money judgment of $1,745,000. This sum, in aggregate, was received in exchange for or is traceable thereto the unlawful distribution of more than 150 kilograms of methamphetamine, based on an average street price of $250 per ounce, and the unlawful distribution of more than 10 kilograms of heroin, based on an average street price of $1,200 an ounce.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bruce Rhoades. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Buchanan County Drug Strike Force, and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.