DEA/Denver Police Investigate Drug Traffickers with Ties to Asian Organized Crime
Denver – Today, Jeffrey D. Sweetin, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Gerry Whitman Denver Police Chief, and Bill Ritter, Denver District Attorney announced a joint investigation into several defendants named in a conspiracy to obtain cocaine.
This investigation was initiated by the Drug Enforcement Administration with the assistance of the Denver Police Department and the Front Range Task Force into the money laundering and drug trafficking activities of Jeffrey Schudel who is believed to be associated with Asian organized crime families who are operating in California, Canada and Hong Kong, China.
On March 8, 2004, Schudel and another individual subsequently identified as Canadian citizen Kendall Goheen, were arrested and approximately $450,000 in US currency was seized from the trunk of a vehicle being driven by Schudel after the two completed negotiations to obtain 150 kilograms of cocaine from a DEA undercover agent. Schudel had previously wire transferred $50,000 to the undercover agent as a show of good faith to further the transaction. Another $27,000 was seized from a bank account after the arrests were made making a total of $527,000 seized in the case.
Denver District Attorney Bill Ritter has charged Schudel and Goheen with multiple counts of conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine, attempted possession of cocaine, and money laundering. Schudel is scheduled to go to trial on August 11, 2004 in Denver District Court division 16. Goheen is scheduled for arraignment on July 28, 2004 in Denver District Court division 16. Both remain in custody in the Denver County Jail. Bond was set at $750,000.
DEA Special Agent in Charge Sweetin stated, “Even though much of the coverage we hear in the media is related to the devastating effects of methamphetamine, cocaine continues to be the emphasis of the majority of our investigations.”
The United States Attorney’s Office has also filed a civil complaint in federal court seeking forfeiture of the over $500,000 in cash seized during the course of this investigation. The civil case is presently pending.