Exclusive pictures show piles of cash and kilos of drugs in alleged Louisville drug ring
Tense moments were captured outside the Jefferson County courthouse after a hearing for seven people accused of involvement in a drug ring.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Tense moments were captured outside the Jefferson County courthouse after a hearing for seven people accused of involvement in a drug ring.
The suspects had their day in court. They're accused of federal conspiracy charges involving drugs.
Defendant Carlos Catalan didn't want to talk on camera.
"F*** off," he said.
Their trials are now set for May 22. Three suspects remain behind bars: Dante Watts, Ismael Gonzalez and Jolie Johnson.
"I don't think the public was ever at risk," said Frank Mascagni, Watts' attorney. "As you know, there's no handguns in this case. Most of the cases that you and I follow, there are handguns and violence attached to it. This case is absolutely pure of handguns, violence and violent behavior."
For the first time, we're seeing pictures of the kilos of drugs and hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash in the case, some of which were found at stash houses. But defense attorneys are still waiting on all of the evidence.
"There are outstanding video recordings as I understand it," Mascagni said. "There's what they call GPS ping data. I'm guessing that's where several cell phones are selected. And if your readers don't know, the government can know when you go to Lexington by that cell phone tower and when you leave Lexington and get to the next one, they can trace you literally from cell phone to cell phone across the country.
"So I'd like to see that data."
The Drug Enforcement Administration says Gonzalez is a large quantity meth trafficker. Catalan reportedly owns a local body shop, and that's where drugs were found, and the DEA calls Watts a known narcotics trafficker.
Truck driver Oscar Argueta was also arrested, along with Jolie Johnson, Kiniki Lucas and Ariel Cruz.
When asked if Cruz was involved in the drug ring, he responded, "F*** off!"
Court records show this drug ring operates from east Louisville to Shepherdsville to Texas, the southwest border and Mexico.
"Dante Watts has instructed me ... we've known each other for a long time, and he's instructed me to get ready for trial," Masagni said. "He's well informed. He reads the discovery. He writes me one or two letters a week. He's not a normal client. He's educated. Not that all my clients are educated, but he knows the law."
In court, Catalan, Cruz and Gonzalez had an interpreter. Argueta wasn't in court. He was excused from appearing because he's out of town driving a truck, which is his job.
A status hearing on the case is scheduled for Jan. 18 at 10 a.m.
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