TOPEKA, Kan. - Three men who were arrested in Kansas City, Kan., have been indicted on charges of possessing more than 200 pounds of marijuana that investigators found hidden among boxes of cookies, Acting U.S. Attorney Marietta Parker said Thursday.
Taurino Cereceres-Morales, 70, Juan Morales, 29, and Jesus Robles, 33, are charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute - and one count of possession with intent to distribute - 229.7 pounds of marijuana.
According to court documents, on Feb. 13, 2009, agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration set up surveillance on Cereceres-Morales while he was staying at the Best Western Hotel, 501 Southwest Boulevard, Kansas City, Kan.
On Feb. 17, 2009 agents watched while co-defendants Morales and Robles arrived at the hotel with a U-Haul truck and picked up Cereceres-Morales. The three men went to a Yellow Freight facility at 3500 Boothe Ave., Kansas City, Mo., where they picked up a pallet of cookies that was shipped from El Paso, Texas.
They took the shipment to a residence Morales was renting in Kansas City, Kan., where they unloaded the truck and stored the boxes in a garage. When investigators searched the residence, they found 229.7 pounds of marijuana packaged in 221 bundles hidden among the boxes of cookies.
If convicted, the defendants face a penalty on each count of not less than five years and not more than 40 years in federal prison and a fine up to $2 million. The Drug Enforcement Administration investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Terra Morehead is prosecuting.