Man admits role in large-scale heroin ring linking Overland Park to Mexican cartels

A man involved in a large-scale heroin distribution network that allegedly connected an Overland Park couple to Mexican drug cartels pleaded guilty Wednesday to federal charges.

Julian Felix-Aguirre was one of 24 people indicted in the drug ring, which federal prosecutors said distributed at least 30 pounds of heroin and large amounts of methamphetamine in the Kansas City area.

Felix-Aguirre, 45, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Kansas City to conspiracy to distribute heroin and methamphetamine, conspiracy to commit money laundering and use of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime.

The investigation that led to charges began in late 2015 with a tip that an Overland Park couple were receiving shipments of drugs from sources in Mexico. The documents filed in federal court do not provide details about the alleged cartel connections in Mexico.

Undercover investigators saw the Overland Park couple meeting with Felix-Aguirre, who was arrested in September 2016 after he was pulled over by Kansas City police.

Investigators found a pound of heroin in the car he was driving, according to court documents.

A search of two houses that Felix-Aguirre was connected to turned up an additional two pounds of heroin and four pounds of methamphetamine.

Also recovered were three handguns, two assault-style rifles, a shotgun and more than $50,000 in cash, according to the documents.

Felix-Aguirre faces a sentence of up to life in prison. A sentencing date has not been set.