KANSAS CIT, Kan. (KAKE) - A man has been sentenced to 8.5 years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.

The US States Attorney's Office District of Kansas said the 34-year-old Edwar Salazar-Belleda was involved with a drug trafficking ring that would bring meth in from Mexico. They would also launder money to be distributed to people in Mexico and California.

Since 2019, the KBI and Homeland Security Investigations have been conducting an undercover investigation that, in 2021, led to agents finding just over seven and a half kilograms of meth in Salazar-Belleda's hotel room along with heroin and a stolen gun.

Investigators say that 27-year-old Romel Alvarado-Calderon of Kansas City, Kansas, was the leader of the operation and Salazar-Belleda acted as his broker. 

During their investigation, agents bought or seized over 150 kilograms of meth, more than 11 ounces of heroin, marijuana, multiple guns and arrested more than eight people.