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Lee’s Summit couple among group indicted for $62 million cocaine conspiracy

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A Lee’s Summit couple are among 13 defendants indicted for their roles in a $62 million cocaine conspiracy, the U.S. Attorney’s office announced.

Howard Chrisitan Walters, 41, and his wife, Nina Walters, 37, both of Lee’s Summit have been charged with trying to distribute more than 2,000 kilograms of cocaine.

Charging documents released by the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri also named Franciso Gastelum-Valdez, 51, of Overland Park, a Mexican citizen living in Olathe, two Mexican citizens living in Kansas City, Kansas, two men from Springfield, Missouri, one man from Richmond, Missouri, and four men and women living in Texas in the conspiracy.

The 13 members were charged by a grand jury on Nov. 15 in a sealed 20-count document that was just made public.

Howard Walters is the owner of L&H Auto Sales in Kansas City. He is charged with conspiring to distribute cocaine from Oct. 2013 to Nov. 15, 2018. Howard is also charged with seven counts of distributing cocaine with the intent to distribute, and one account of aiding and abetting the possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute.

Howard and Nina were jointly charged with money laundering, while Nina was charged with an additional count of money laundering.

The indictment also has forfeiture requirements to satisfy the more than $62 million alleged to have been garnered through distributing cocaine. Included in that forfeiture is the Walters’ Lee’s Summit home and a separate home in Kansas City owned by another defendant.

The case, which was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI, IRS-Criminal Investigation and the Lee’s Summit Police Department, will be prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Trey Alford and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Smith.

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