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News Release
February 6, 2004, 2003

Twenty-Four People From The St. Louis Area And Texas Are Charged With Drug Trafficking & Money Laundering & Forfeiture

FEB 6--St. Louis, Missouri: Twenty-four people have been charged with drug conspiracy and money laundering charges, William J. Renton, Jr., Special Agent in Charge of the DEA St. Louis Division and United States Attorney Ray Gruender and announced today.

In addition to the Drug Enforcement Administration, this case was investigated by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, St. Louis County Police Department, Arnold, Missouri Police Department and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant United States Attorney Tiffany Becker is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

William J. Renton, Jr., Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), St. Louis Division stated, “The Drug Enforcement Administration is honored to have led the multi-agency investigation that resulted in today’s indictment of two dozen members of the multi-national marijuana trafficking organizations. DEA is proud of the excellent working relationship it enjoys with other law enforcement agencies and this success underscores the power of that alliance. Once again, the law enforcement community is sending a clear message to those that traffic in marijuana or any other controlled substance, that they will be identified, investigated, arrested and prosecuted.”

EDUARDO VASQUEZ, 34, El Paso, Texas; JASON MICHAEL ANDERSON, 24, of the 3000 block of Highland House Villa Court, Arnold, Missouri; MARK ANTHONY PEREZ, 24, of the 1700 block of Williamsburg, Barnhart, Missouri; MARK A. LANG, JR., 30, of the 6800 block of Magnolia, St. Louis; DOUGLAS ALAN WEDGE, 34, of the 9900 block of Live Oak Court, Affton, Missouri; ERIC J. TAYLOR, 24, of the 5800 block of Sunshine, St. Louis; JAMES CHARLES ROBINSON, III, 19, of the 3600 block of North Meadow Mill, Arnold, Missouri; DENNIS CHRISTOPHER KAELIN, 23, of the 400 block of Summit Tree Court, Fenton, Missouri; DAVID EDWIN NECKER, 23, of the 4100 block of Sweetgum, St. Louis; JOSEPH RYAN MCNAMARA, 18, of the 400 block of Electra, Arnold, Missouri; JENNIFER J. PEREZ, 31, of the 1700 block of Williamsburg, Barnhart, Missouri LARRY J. TANNER, 59, East Carondelet, Illinois; DOUGLAS G. FORD, 42, East Carondelet, Illinois; KEITH W. MACK, JR., 28, of the 2500 block of Ablemarle Court, St. Louis County; JOHN P. CHIAPELAS, 60, of the 700 block of Lake Pointe Circle, Arnold, Missouri; GREGORIO GARCIA,III, 30, El Paso, Texas; PERLA GRAJEDA, 45, El Paso; CARLOS SANCHEZ GRAJEDA, SR., 49, El Paso; SERGIO CATALAN SALAZAR, 30, Juarez, Mexico; ALFREDO FLORES, 58, El Paso; IVAN MANUEL CHAVEZ, 28, El Paso; DAVID IRIZARRY, 35, El Paso; ALAN JESUS LOZANO, 26, El Paso; RAUL ARTURO MARTINEZ, 21, El Paso; were indicted by a federal grand jury on multiple counts including conspiracy to distribute and possess cocaine and marijuana, conspiracy to launder money, and possession with intent to distribute marijuana. The defendants were also charged with a forfeiture count, which, if convicted will require them to forfeit all property derived from this drug conspiracy up to 5.625 million dollars. The indictment was returned Thursday, January 29, 2004, but remained sealed until the arrest of some of the defendants.

If convicted, these defendants each face a maximum penalty of life in prison and/or fines up to $4,000,000. Items subject to forfeiture include: $151,620 in United States Currency and five vehicles.

According to the indictment, Eduardo Vasquez served as the primary leader of a drug trafficking conspiracy which transported, stored and distributed large quantities of marijuana as well as quantities of cocaine from El Paso, Texas and elsewhere to St. Louis City; St. Louis and Jefferson Counties, and St. Clair County, Illinois. The indictees include sources of supply in El Paso, couriers, brokers and the St. Louis area distribution network.

The charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations, and each defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.


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