Ellenwood man part of U.S.-Mexican drug bust, police say

Police say an Ellenwood man was part of an international drug trafficking ring that made over $1.8 billion in cocaine sales.

Kiley Murray, 37, was one of 43 alleged drug leaders indicted this week by the U.S. Attorney as part of a federal crackdown on narcotic sales between the U.S. and Mexico. The indictments include 10 Mexican drug cartel leaders, said Laura Sweeney, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Justice.

U.S. Marshals and the Henry County Police SWAT Team stormed Murray’s home on Scarborough Road in Ellenwood Wednesday morning as part of a federal search warrant, Henry Police spokesman Capt. Jason Bolton said.

Murray is charged with conspiring with others to distribute five kilos of cocaine and one kilo heroin, according to a federal indictment.

Investigators are working to seize $8.65 million that Murray and his conspirators made from drug sales, according to the indictment. They have already seized his Ellenwood home and six properties in Chicago. They also seized a BMW, a GMC Denali and another car from his house on Wednesday, Bolton said.

Henry County property records show Murray bought the six-bedroom, six-bathroom house in October 2007. The three-year-old house, which has a pool, is valued at $769,200.

Murray, who also goes by the names “Cali,” “Kal” or “Hollywood,” worked with several other drug traffickers in Chicago, according to the indictment. All of the other arrests were made in Chicago and New York, Sweeney said.

“Breaking up these dangerous cartels and stemming the flow of drugs, weapons and cash across the Southwest Border is a top priority for this Justice Department,” U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement. “The cartels whose alleged leaders are charged today constitute multi-billion dollar networks that funnel drugs onto our streets. What invariably follows these drugs is more crime and violence in our communities.”

In addition to the arrests, police are working to seize a total of $1.8 billion in cash proceeds from the drug sales, said Patrick J. Fitzgerald, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

Between 1990 and 2008, the men imported about 200 metric tons of cocaine and large amounts of heroin into the U.S., prosecutors said. The bulk of it was smuggled from Mexico.

The Chicago ring, which Murray was affiliated with, handled 1,500-2,000 kilos of cocaine a month, Fitzgerald said.

The ring imported “many tons” of cocaine and heroin into the U.S. and then sold it to distributors across the county, Fitzgerald said. Murray’s conspirators in Chicago are responsible for running cocaine from the U.S. to Colombia, Panama and Mexico in a Boeing 747 cargo aircraft, submarines, container ships, buses and tractor trailers, prosecutors said.

“The defendants allegedly used practically every means of transportation imaginable to move these large amounts of drugs and to funnel massive amounts of money back to Mexico,” Fitzgerald said in a statement.

Murray’s bosses, the Chicago drug kingpins, are also charged with obtaining guns and other weapons, bribery and threats of violence to law enforcement to evade police.

The indictments also charge Joaquin “el Chapo” Guzman-Loera, Ismael “el Mayo” Zambada-Garcia and Arturo Beltran-Leyva, who are allegedly among the most powerful drug traffickers in Mexico. Prosecutors say the three men are heads of an organized crime syndicate known as the “Sinaloa Cartel” and “the Federation.”