Ellis County arrests result in federal indictments
By MIKE CORN
A federal grand jury Wednesday indicted a Phoenix man, arrested in late August in Ellis County, on a single count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
The grand jury also indicted a citizen of Romania, on charges of using a forged French passport and aggravated identity theft.
On the drug charge, Adan Villezcas-Palacios, 28, was arrested by the Kansas Highway Patrol as he drove along Interstate 70 on Aug. 28, according to the U.S. Attorney's office in Wichita.
He initially was charged in Ellis County District Court on Aug. 31 with a single count of possession with intent to distribute. The Ellis County charge alleges he possessed 2 pounds, 6 ounces of methamphetamine.
That charge ultimately will be dismissed now that a federal indictment has been filed.
A companion in the vehicle, 30-year-old Angelina Flores, also of Phoenix, also was charged in Ellis County District Court with the same charge.
She was not, however, indicted by the federal grand jury and her case is expected to continue locally.
Under the federal indictment, Villezcas-Palacios could face 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10 million.
The Ellis County charge -- still facing Flores -- could result in a sentence of up to 14 years in prison, depending on her criminal background. Because of the amount of drugs involved, the charge is a Level 1 felony, the most severe charge possible under state law.
Also indicted Wednesday was Costel Neicu, 32, a citizen of Romania. He was charged with a single count of using a forged passport and one count of aggravated identity theft, crimes allegedly occurring March 1 in Ellis County.
The charge against him alleges he had in his possession a French passport bearing the last name of Collin, on which had been affixed a photograph of Neicu.
The federal charge also seeks forfeiture of a 1994 motor home, a laptop computer, two GPS systems and $50,000 in cash.
If convicted, he faces the possibility of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on the passport charge.
He could face an additional two years in prison on the identity theft charge.
KHP and Homeland Security officers investigated.