Drug Enforcement Administration

St. Louis

William J. Callahan, Special Agent in Charge

September 05, 2017

Contact: SA John Leonard

Phone Number: 314-538-4600

Jefferson City Man Pleads Guilty To Charge Of Conspiracy To Distribute Cocaine

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - Troy Derby, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Kansas City District Office, today announced that a Jefferson City, Missouri, man pleaded guilty to his role in a conspiracy to distribute at least five kilograms of cocaine in Columbia, Missouri. “This individual conspired to sell poison in our communities,” Assistant Special Agent in Charge Derby said. “Only through tremendous cooperation between DEA and our state and local law enforcement partners are we able to continue to bring justice to those who wish to harm our neighborhoods and communities.”

Mario Alberto De La Cruz, 43, of Jefferson City, Missouri, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine, a charge that carries with it a minimum of 10 years in federal prison. De La Cruz pleaded guilty in the United States District Court, Western District of Missouri. In doing so, De La Cruz admitted that he participated in this conspiracy from August through November of 2015, while also admitting that he sold cocaine on several different occasions to individuals who were confidential law enforcement informants.

On one occasion during this investigation, De La Cruz sold the confidential law enforcement informant two ounces of cocaine after that informant sent De La Cruz a text saying, “Hey bud leaving for a bachelor party in an hour totally forgot to text yesterday bout 20 of us headed our camping could use 2 big loads of wood asap!!!!Leaving in an hour.”  Investigators provided the confidential informant with $1,900 of investigative funds, and subsequently observed De La Cruz meet with the informant to sell the informant the negotiated amount of cocaine.  

Pursuant to his plea of guilt, De La Cruz is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.  De La Cruz is currently in the custody of the United States Marshal Service awaiting further court proceedings to be sentenced.

This case was investigated by the DEA and the Jefferson City, Missouri, Police Department.  This case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Missouri.

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