Owners of local car dealership indicted in multi-million dollar cocaine distribution conspiracy

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A local car salesman and his wife are among 13 people indicted for their roles in an alleged $62 million cocaine distribution and money laundering conspiracy.

According to court documents Howard Christian Walters, 41, and his wife, Nina, 37, both of Lee’s Summit were charged in a 20-count indictment unsealed Monday.

Howard Walters is the owner of L&H Auto Sales in Kansas City, Mo.

Also charged are Louis Walker, 47, of Richmond, Mo.; Jose Luis Armendariz-Rascon, 38, and Jesus Salvador Campoy-Estrada, 24, both citizens of Mexico; Francisco Gastelum-Valdez, 51, of Overland Park; Miguel Armendariz-Rascon, 30, of Mexico; Mark High, 52, and Antonio Starks-Fewell, 33, both of Springfield, Mo.; Otilio Zaragoza-Navarrette, 62, a Mexican national and lawful permanent resident, and Pamela Salais, 30, and her sister, Luisa Maria Salais, 28, all of El Paso, Texas; and Armando Rosales, Jr., 29, of San Elizario, Texas.

According to the indictment Howard Walters, along with Armendariz-Rascon, Campoy-Estrada, High, Srarks-Fewell, Armendariz-Rascon, Zaragoza-Nacarett, Rosales and both Salais sisters were part of a cocaine distribution conspiracy that took place between Oct. 2013 and Nov 15 of this year.

The indictment alleges that Howard and Nina Walters, Campoy-Estrada, Gastelum-Valdez and Walker were also part of a money laundering conspiracy during the same time frame.

Howard Walters also allegedly used some of the drug money to buy a 2017 Dodge Ram truck and a 2013 Suzuki motorcycle and lease a 2017 Mercedes-Benz. Walters and Walker are also charged with money laundering for allegedly using the drug money to buy a 2011 Porsche Panamera.

Campoy-Estrada and Gastelum-Valdez are accused of using the money to purchase houses.

The indictment also calls for Armendariz-Rascon to forfeit over $62.4 million in drug money.  The defendants would also be required to forfeit four houses that were allegedly bought with drug money to the government.