Eleven defendants have been indicted for their roles in a $1.7 million conspiracy to distribute 150 kilograms of methamphetamine and 10 kilograms of heroin, as well as illegally possessing numerous firearms.
Kamel Mahgub Elburki, 31, Ashley Brooke Clevenger, 37, Edward Jason Alberty Jr., 23, Rachel Gale Simpson, 36, Daniel Jessie Ruiz, 35, and Matthew John Fabulae, 30, all of Kansas City, Missouri; Cory Matthew Jobe, 27, of Independence, Missouri; Tayler Charles Jones, 25, of Liberty, Missouri; Ashley Anne Fries, 23, of Riverside, Missouri; Justin Ren’e Ramirez, 23, of Bolivar, Missouri; and Richard Dean Saettone II, 39, address unknown, were charged in a 22-count indictment returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Kansas City on Dec. 12, 2019. That indictment has been unsealed and made public following the arrests and initial court appearances of the defendants.
The federal indictment alleges that all of the defendants participated in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and heroin and in a money-laundering conspiracy from Jan. 1, 2017, to Dec. 12, 2109.
According to court records, law enforcement officers seized 77 firearms during the course of the investigation. Among those firearms were 69 firearms seized at Ruiz’s residence, including 45 firearms seized on Feb. 22, 2019, and 20 firearms seized on Oct. 23, 2019, and four firearms seized on Dec. 2, 2019.
The federal indictment replaces a criminal complaint filed against Fabulae on Nov. 26, 2019. According to an affidavit filed in support of the original complaint, Fabulae was involved in at least two shooting incidents. On Feb. 12, 2019, officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop in the Quik Trip parking lot at 7100 NE Parvin Rd., but Fabulae drove out of the parking lot and led officers on a pursuit. Fabulae entered the eastbound lanes while driving westbound into opposing traffic, the affidavit says, then drove his Jeep off the road and up a hill. Fabulae got out of the vehicle with his dog and ran into some trees and brush. Officers found Fabulae hiding inside a large trash dumpster in a nearby parking lot and arrested him. He was carrying two grams of methamphetamine, a firearm magazine, and $1,096. Officers also located the drawstring backpack he had been carrying and discarded, the affidavit says, which contained 48 grams of cocaine HCL, 10 grams of marijuana, and 280 grams of methamphetamine. Officers found a Springfield Armory .45-caliber handgun near the location where the foot chase began. Officers searched Fabulae’s vehicle and found four cell phones, a tablet, a laptop, and ammunition.
The federal indictment replaces criminal complaints filed against Ruiz and Saettone on Dec. 3, 2019. According to the affidavits filed in support of those complaints, Ruiz and Saettone were arrested that day after Saettone purchased methamphetamine from Ruiz at Ruiz’s residence. Officers stopped Saettone as he was leaving Ruiz’s residence. Saettone, the affidavit says, was carrying approximately 280 grams of methamphetamine and a loaded SCCY 9mm semi-automatic handgun.
According to the affidavit, officers executed a search warrant at Ruiz’s residence on Dec. 2, 2019, and officers seized well over a kilogram of methamphetamine buried in a large metal trash can full of dog food, located in the front room. Officers also seized a Glock .40-caliber handgun with an extended magazine, a Smith and Wesson AR-15-style rifle, an FIE .25-caliber automatic handgun, a Glock .357-caliber handgun, ammunition, a World War II-era gas grenade, multiple packages of suspected marijuana, and more than $2,000.
An earlier search warrant had been executed at Ruiz’s residence on Feb. 22, 2019, when officers seized 45 firearms, more than three kilograms of methamphetamine and approximately $66,000. A search warrant had also been executed at Ruiz’s residence on Oct. 23, 2019, after investigators discovered a FedEx parcel sent to that address, which contained 5.4 pounds of marijuana. Investigators conducted a controlled delivery of the parcel, the affidavit says, which Ruiz (using an alias) accepted. Officers arrested Ruiz and searched his residence, seizing 20 firearms and more than 600 grams of methamphetamine.
In addition to the conspiracies charged in the indictment, Elburki, Jones, Alberty, Simpson, Jobe, Ramirez, Ruiz, Fabulae, and Saettone were also charged together in one count of possessing 500 grams of methamphetamine and one kilogram of heroin to distribute.
Elburki, Jones, Alberty, Jobe, Ramirez, Ruiz, Fries, Fabulae, and Saettone each were charged with one count of possessing, carrying, or using a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime. Elburki, Jones, Jobe, Fries, Fabulae, and Saettone each were charged with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. Alberty, Ramirez, Ruiz, and Fabulae each were charged with one count of being a drug user in possession of firearms and ammunition.
The indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation, which would require the defendants to forfeit to the government any proceeds obtained from the alleged drug-trafficking conspiracy, including a money judgment of approximately $1,745,000, which allegedly was received in exchange for the distribution of more than 150 kilograms of methamphetamine (based on an average street price of $250 per ounce) and more than 10 kilograms of heroin (based on an average street price of $1,200 per ounce).
The charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bruce Rhoades. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Clay County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Jackson County Drug Task Force, the Buchanan County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Buchanan County Drug Strike Force, and IRS-Criminal Investigation.
KC Metro Strike Force
This prosecution was brought as a part of the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Co-located Strike Forces Initiative, which provides for the establishment of permanent multi-agency task force teams that work side-by-side in the same location. This co-located model enables agents from different agencies to collaborate on intelligence-driven, multi-jurisdictional operations against a continuum of priority targets and their affiliate illicit financial networks. These prosecutor-led co-located Strike Forces capitalize on the synergy created through the long-term relationships that can be forged by agents, analysts, and prosecutors who remain together over time, and they epitomize the model that has proven most effective in combating organized crime. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking organizations, transnational criminal organizations, and money laundering organizations that present a significant threat to the public safety, economic, or national security of the United States.