KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City, Missouri man was sentenced in federal court Tuesday for nearly $10 million for conspiracy to distribute almost 1,000 kilograms of methamphetamine.
Jesus Banuelos, 23, was sentenced to 18 years in federal prison without parole.
On Aug. 23, 2021, Banuelos pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, one count of distributing methamphetamine, and one count of being an unlawful user of a controlled substance in possession of a firearm.
Banuelos admitted that he was responsible for the distribution of at least 436.19 grams of pure methamphetamine.
Also, Banuelos was involved in the sale of approximately half a pound of methamphetamine to a confidential human source on two occasions in April and May 2019.
Banuelos was arrested during a traffic stop on May 8, 2019, and Kansas City police officers could smell the odor of marijuana from the driver’s side window of his vehicle and saw marijuana roaches in the ashtray in plain view.
In addition to the traffic stop, officers searched his vehicle and found a Glock 9mm handgun. Banuelos told officers he used marijuana three or four days a week.
Banuelos admitted that he sold 436.19 grams of pure methamphetamine at a price of $2,300 per half a pound.
The court also held Banuelos responsible for trafficking an additional approximately 1.9 kilograms of methamphetamine, for a total of almost 2.4 kilograms (about 5.2 pounds) of methamphetamine. At $2,300 per half a pound, this results in a total amount of $23,974.
Banuelos was on state probation for stealing an Olympic Arms AR-15 from a pawn shop at the time of his offense.
Banuelos admitted he was part of the drug-trafficking organization led by Mirza Alihodzic, 36, of Kansas City, who pleaded guilty on July 18, 2022, and awaits sentencing.
Alihodzic said that he was responsible for the distribution of at least 45 kilograms of methamphetamine during the conspiracy, which lasted from Sept. 1, 2018, to Nov. 5, 2019.
Banuelos is among five suspects who have been sentenced in this case, 13 co-defendants have pleaded guilty, and await sentencing, in two separate indictments that resulted from this investigation.
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