MIL-OSI Security: Accused Drug Cartel Broker, 28 Others Indicted in St. Louis

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Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI Crime News (b)

ST. LOUIS – A man accused of being a broker for Mexican drug cartels and 28 others have been indicted on drug and money laundering conspiracy charges in St. Louis.

Genaro Rosas-Vargas, 39, also known by other names including “Chilango,” and the 28 others were indicted by a grand jury in U.S. District Court in St. Louis on May 24 on one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl, five kilograms or more of cocaine and 500 grams or more of methamphetamine. Rosas-Vargas and nine others also face one count of money laundering conspiracy, and others face additional drug and firearm charges. 

Twenty-eight of the defendants have been arrested in the St. Louis area, Illinois and other states. Rosas-Vargas was arrested when he crossed the U.S. border. The Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Marshals Service arrested the bulk of the defendants this week.

“This long-term investigation represents a significant blow to the drug trafficking cartels trying to profit by poisoning the St. Louis community,” said U.S. Attorney Sayler A. Fleming. “It also resulted in the interception of large quantities of fentanyl, cocaine and meth and the coordinated, masterful arrest of a large number of defendants in multiple states in just a few hours.”

“Mexico-based drug cartels should never be underestimated for their power and global reach,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Colin Dickey, head of Drug Enforcement Administration operations in Eastern Missouri. “The lethality of the illegal drugs these traffickers ship into St. Louis communities demonstrates that their greed trumps any concern for the health and safety of our citizens. DEA and our partners are determined to disrupt the cartels’ supply chain and end their horrible business.”

The indictment alleges that since at least 2017, Rosas-Vargas was a Mexico-based broker who obtained fentanyl, meth and cocaine from drug cartels and had it delivered to the St. Louis area and elsewhere. Rosas-Vargas and his co-conspirators wired some drug proceeds back to Mexico and used couriers to transport bulk shipments of cash, the indictment says. 

The indictment says Javier Ramos-Garcia, 50, Jose Coronel-Coss, 28, and Theodore Sigite, 47, were large-scale drug traffickers involved in the conspiracy.

The indictment also seeks the forfeiture of a 2017 Jaguar F-Pace, a 2017 Chevrolet Silverado, a 2003 Suzuki GSX motorcycle and more than $131,000 in cash. During the investigation, six kilograms of fentanyl, 44 kilograms of cocaine, 75 kilograms of meth and $250,000 in drug proceeds have been seized, according to a motion seeking to have Rosas-Vargas held in jail until trial.  

That motion accuses Rosas-Vargas of organizing the transport of undocumented immigrants from Mexico into the United States, who were then required to work off the $5,000 to $11,000 they owed by participating in drug trafficking operations.  Rosas-Vargas also discussed sending firearms from the U.S. to Mexico for use by the cartels, the motion says.

Charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt.  Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations, the U.S. Marshals Service, the U.S. Secret Service, the FBI, the St. Charles County Police Department, the St. Louis County Police Department, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, the Bridgeton Police Department and the Marion (Illinois) Police Department investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Dane Rennier and James Delworth are prosecuting the case.

The investigation was conducted by the St. Louis Gateway Strike Force, which is part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force and includes members of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. The OCDETF strike forces are permanent, multi-agency, prosecutor-led teams that conduct intelligence-driven, multi-jurisdictional operations against priority targets and their affiliate illicit financial networks. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

MIL Security OSI