WICHITA, Kansas – Two Wichita men have been charged with drug trafficking after a Wichita police officer posed as a delivery driver at a meeting in which three pounds of methamphetamine were to change hands.
Michael Ortega-Alvarez, 45, Wichita, and Manuel Bencomo-Rodriguez, 47, were charged Wednesday with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
It is alleged Wichita police stopped Ortega-Alvarez for a traffic violation on May 6, 2014. They found approximately three pounds of methamphetamine in his vehicle. When investigators learned Ortega-Alvarez was on his way to make a delivery to a man he didn’t know, an officer working undercover took his place.
Using Ortega-Alvarez’s phone, the officer received instructions to drive to a convenience store at 31st and Hillside and wait for a man in a blue car. Bencomo-Rodriguez arrived driving a blue Chevrolet Lumina. He led the officer to another location, after which they returned to the convenience store and Bencomo-Rodriguez was arrested.
If convicted, the defendants face a penalty of not less than 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $10 million.
The Wichita Police Department investigated.