A 33-year-old Overland Park man has pleaded guilty to his part in a $16.9 million drug trafficking conspiracy allegedly organized by Lawrence residents arrested by federal agents last summer.
Samuel Villeareal pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and marijuana and to maintain a residence in furtherance of drug trafficking, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Kansas said Wednesday. Villeareal was one of 43 defendants charged last year after local law enforcement and federal agents raided businesses and arrested suspects in Douglas and Johnson counties on June 13. In October, eight more people were indicted, including several California residents.
In his plea, Villeareal admitted he bought pound quantities of marijuana from co-defendant Los Rovell Dahda, 31, Lawrence. Los Rovell Dahda and his brother Roosevelt Rico Dahda, 31, are among those charged with operating a marijuana and cocaine distribution ring in Lawrence for more than five years, bringing in drugs from Mexico, Canada, and northern California.
When investigators searched Villeareal's home in the 800 block of Crestline Dr. last May and searched his cellular phones, they found text messages suggesting Kansas University basketball players were among Villeareal's customers, according to prosecutors.
Sentencing will be set for a later date. Villeareal faces at least 10 years in prison and a possible life sentence, along with a $10 million fine.
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