Mr. Taco Mexican restaurant owner used employees to push cocaine throughout Fox Valley, Feds say

FOX VALLEY, WI – Matthew D. Krueger, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced today that seven defendants have been charged with offenses related to a conspiracy to distribute large amounts of cocaine in the Fox Valley in Wisconsin.

According to the criminal complaint, Luis Morales is the owner of several restaurants in the Fox Valley, including Mr. Taco (Appleton, Kimberly, and Hilbert locations) and Savor Food & Spirits.

The investigation revealed that Luis Morales and his co-conspirators distributed numerous kilograms of cocaine in the Appleton, Wisconsin area since June of 2019.  On several occasions, Luis Morales arranged for employees of Mr. Taco to distribute and accept payments for large amounts of cocaine at the Mr. Taco (Kimberly) restaurant.  During the takedown on December 2, 2020, over two kilograms of cocaine were seized from Luis Morales’ vehicle and residence.

If convicted, Luis Morales, Eduardo Morales, Sandra Munoz, Frank DiMatteo, and Cory Ulrich face a mandatory minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison.  Jennifer Almeida-Sandoval and Javier Guzman-Becerra face a mandatory minimum of 5 years and up to 40 years in prison.

“Drug-trafficking organizations harm our communities by maintaining arsenals of weapons and fueling addiction,” said United States Attorney Krueger.  “This case underscores the extraordinary cooperation among federal, state, and local law enforcement to combat drug trafficking in Wisconsin.”

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“The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is committed to working with its local, state and federal law enforcement partners to keep Wisconsin citizens safe from the distribution of illegal drugs and the violence that is always associated with it,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Robert J. Bell.  “This indictment shows the resolve of law enforcement to bring to justice those who profit from drug trafficking.”

“Outstanding work by agents with Wisconsin DOJ’s Division of Criminal Investigation and local and federal law enforcement led to the arrests in this case and seizures of large quantities of narcotics,” said Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul.  “This case is a great example of the impact that enforcement efforts focused on large-scale drug trafficking can have.”

The defendants were charged based on a multi-year investigation led by law enforcement agents and officers from the Drug Enforcement Administration – Green Bay Residential Office (DEA-GBRO), the Lake Winnebago Area Metropolitan Enforcement Group – Drug Unit (LWAM), and the Wisconsin Department of Justice – Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI).  Several other law enforcement agencies assisted throughout this investigation, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Wisconsin National Guard Counterdrug Program, the Wisconsin State Patrol, the Appleton Police Department, the Calumet County District Attorney’s Office, the Fond du Lac County District Attorney’s Office, and the Outagamie County District Attorney’s Office.  Assistant United States Attorney Alex Duros and Assistant United States Attorney William Roach are prosecuting the case.

An indictment is only a charge and not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt

Name

Charge(s)

Residence

Luis A. Morales (40)

Conspiracy to Distribute at least 5 Kilograms of Cocaine

Possession with Intent to Distribute at least 500 Grams of Cocaine

Felon in Possession of a Firearm

Appleton, WI

Eduardo F. Morales (26)

Conspiracy to Distribute at least 5 Kilograms of Cocaine

Rialto, CA

Sandra M. Munoz (36)

Conspiracy to Distribute at least 5 Kilograms of Cocaine

Appleton, WI

Jennifer Almeida-Sandoval (30)

Possession with Intent to Distribute at least 500 Grams of Cocaine

Hilbert, WI

Javier Guzman-Becerra (32)

Conspiracy to Distribute at least 500 Grams of Cocaine

Menasha, WI

Frank DiMatteo (66)

Conspiracy to Distribute at least 5 Kilograms of Cocaine

New London, WI

Cory J. Ulrich (42)

Conspiracy to Distribute at least 5 Kilograms of Cocaine

Appleton, WI