14 charged with trafficking marijuana, money laundering in Kansas

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Kansas City Crime Stoppers most wanted fugitives updated video updated Aug. 21, 2019.
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Kansas City Crime Stoppers most wanted fugitives updated video updated Aug. 21, 2019.

Fourteen people from the Kansas City area, California and Colorado were arraigned in federal court this week after an indictment alleged they smuggled hundreds of pounds of marijuana and laundered hundreds of thousands of dollars in drug proceeds, the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the District of Kansas announced.

The charges defendants are facing include drug trafficking conspiracy, money laundering, unlawful use of the U.S. Postal Service and maintaining a residence for the purpose of drug trafficking. A grand jury handed up the 25-count indictment in February.

According to prosecutors, the defendants are accused of shipping marijuana from California and Colorado to distribute in Kansas, and sending the proceeds back to other alleged conspirators between 2016 and 2018.

The following people were indicted:

  • Steven Martinez, 30, of Rosamond, California
  • Nickolas Vander Bruggen, 28, of Hesperia, California
  • George Garcia, 31, of Rosamond, California
  • Alonzo Cooper, 28, of Kansas City, Kansas
  • Reginald Allen, 26, of Kansas City, Kansas
  • Kayla Union, 22, of Kansas City
  • Akil Cooper, 26, of Lancaster, California
  • Marcus Joseph, 31, of Lancaster, California
  • Dominique Wilson, 24, of Kansas City, Kansas
  • Mario Zelaya, 27, of Los Angeles
  • Trenton Smith, 29, of Aurora, Colorado
  • Anthony Daniels, 58, of Sacramento, California
  • Daya Daniels, 46 of Sacramento, California
  • Barbara Haynes, 39, of Littleton, Colorado

Records shows a plea of not guilty has been entered on behalf of Martinez, Garcia, Cooper, Allen, Union, Joseph, Zelaya, Smith, Anthony Daniels, Daya Daniels and Haynes.

Their cases are pending.

The cases were investigated by the Kansas City police; the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Unit; the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; Homeland Security Investigations; the FBI; the U.S. Marshals Service; the Dubuque, Iowa, Drug Task Force; the Kern County, California, Sheriff’s Office; and the La Habra, California, Police Department.

Kaitlyn Schwers covers breaking news and crime at night for The Kansas City Star. Originally from Willard, Mo., she spent nearly three years reporting in Arkansas and Illinois before returning to Missouri and joining The Star in 2017.