Operation Super Chicken
DEC 10 -- ( KANSAS CITY, Mo.) – Matt J. Whitworth, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that the owner of a Kansas City, Mo., restaurant was sentenced in federal court today for his role in a conspiracy to distribute large quantities of cocaine from Mexico into the Kansas City area, as well as laundering $2.3 million in drug-trafficking proceeds.
Juan Delgado , also known as “Cachetes” and “Marana,” 35, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Nanette K. Laughrey this afternoon to 30 years in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Delgado to forfeit to the government more than $2.3 million that was received from the distribution of cocaine – including $880,296 that was seized during the course of the investigation, of which approximately $140,000, which was hidden in the bottom of a clothes hamper, behind a fake wall and in a closet of the Delgado home, was seized at the time of the arrest of Juan and his wife and co-defendant, Sylvia Delgado , 30. The court also ordered the forfeiture of several real estate properties, including 120 acres and a manufactured home in Benton County owned by Juan and Sylvia Delgado, two lots and a cabin in Camden County owned by Juan Delgado , and three residential properties in Kansas City owned by Juan and Sylvia Delgado.
Juan Delgado and his wife and co-defendant, Sylvia Delgado, 29, of Kansas City, are co-owners of Super Pollo, a Mexican restaurant at 3253 Independence Ave., Kansas City, Mo. They are citizens of Mexico. Sylvia Delgado was sentenced on Oct. 28, 2009, to five months in prison and five months of home detention. JUD, LLC and Santadelg Properties, LLC , which were both limited liability companies established by Sylvia Delgado to launder the proceeds of illegal drug trafficking, were fined $5,000.
In May 2006, federal law enforcement agents began investigating Super Pollo. Suspicious banking activity reports indicated that the restaurant’s owners were depositing more money into their business account than the restaurant could earn from legitimate sales. A year-long investigation involved more than 100 officers and utilized several wiretaps, surveillance, undercover drug transactions and an examination of personal and business tax returns. Law enforcement officers seized approximately $1 million and lodged claims on 11 properties in Kansas City and central Missouri with a value of approximately $700,000.
On Feb. 9, 2009, Juan Delgado was convicted at trial of participating in a conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine from June 11, 2002, through April 11, 2007, as well as four counts of distributing cocaine and four counts of money laundering.
Juan and Sylvia Delgado were also convicted at trial of participating in a money laundering conspiracy related to financial transactions involving drug-trafficking proceeds. The Delgados were also found guilty of one count of aiding and abetting each other to launder the proceeds of drug trafficking through the transfer of real estate in Kansas City from a co-defendant to Santadelg Properties . That transfer was made to reimburse their supplier for $71,895 in illegal drug proceeds that had been seized by law enforcement officers from co-defendant Cruz Santa-Anna , also known as “Nene,” 28, of Kansas City.
Omar Villareal , also known as “Shaggy,” 33, and Luis Morgan , 42, both of Kansas City, Mo., were also convicted at trial of participating in the drug-trafficking conspiracy. Villareal was sentenced on Aug. 27, 2009, to 17 years and six months in federal prison without parole. Morgan was sentenced on June 25, 2009, to 11 years and three months in federal prison without parole.
Six co-defendants have been sentenced after pleading guilty. Santa-Anna and Raymond Sparks , 38, both of Kansas City, were each sentenced on March 12, 2009, to seven years in federal prison without parole. Jose Estrada , 45, a citizen of Mexico residing in Merriam, Kan., was sentenced on Nov. 13, 2008, to 17 years and six months in federal prison without parole. Julian Araiza , 33, of Kansas City, Mo., was sentenced on March 12, 2009, to three years and one month in federal prison without parole. Jose Canales, 55, of Burleson, Texas, was sentenced on March 12, 2009, to two years and eight months in federal prison without parole. Ricardo Ruiz, also known as “The Rabbit” and “Conejo,” 34, also a co-owner of Super Pollo restaurant, was sentenced on Nov. 13, 2008, to 21 months in federal prison without parole.
Fernando Chavez , also known as “Mr. Magoo,” “Old Boy” and “Nando,” 37, Carlos Hernandez , 45, and Jose Ortega-Gallegos , 40, are all citizens of Mexico and remain fugitives from justice.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jane Pansing Brown and Gregg R. Coonrod. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, IRS-Criminal Investigation, the Jackson County Drug Task Force and the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department.