Discovery of a fake radiator packed with $9 million worth of methamphetamine along Interstate 29 has led to a guilty plea from the man alleged to be a major distributor of the drug in the Kansas City area.
U.S. District Judge Brian Wimes ordered Porfirio Almeida-Perez and 31 co-defendants to pay a $9 million judgment.
It represents proceeds from 272 kilos of meth, based on a modest street price of $16,000 a pound.
Missouri Highway Patrol troopers discovered the false radiator in the engine compartment when they stopped an un-named co-conspirator delivering kilos of meth to Kansas City from California in 2011.
Almeida-Perez is a Mexican national. Investigators described him as "heavily involved in dealing methamphetamine in the Kansas City region.” He admitted in court he’d been handling meth for sale over five years.
Penalty ranges from 10 years to life without parole and a fine of up to $10 million.
Almeida-Perez will be sentenced in January 2014.