In movies or TV shows like Narcos, Breaking Bad, or Ozark, involvement with drug cartels in far off lands like Mexico seems to be something that only happens in the movies or other parts of the United States. Never do we think about any sort of entanglement between these criminals and the people of Iowa -- let alone the Cedar Valley.

Unfortunately, that entanglement has officially placed some of its roots here, right in our own back yard.

Over the last five days, several individuals from the Waterloo area have been arrested in connection to a money laundering scheme taking place between here and Mexico -- specifically with a drug trafficking operation.

According to the Cedar Falls/Waterloo Courier, "Richard Louis Mohorne, 46, and Mark Anthony Sayles, 31, were charged last week in connection with transferring the drug proceeds from Black Hawk County to the 'Manjarrez Drug Trafficking Organization.'"

The criminal affadavit obtained by the Courier says that "detectives identified one of the “main operators” in Mexico who was supplying Black Hawk County individuals with large amounts of methamphetamine, heroin and fentanyl. ... Sayles and Mohorne then were obtaining the methamphetamine and assisting in its distribution."

Just two days later, two more individuals were arrested -- Samuel Monroe, 33, and Rylee Wenman, 24, of Waterloo -- on charges of money laundering.

A separate story from the Courier elaborates, saying what the aurthorities allege to have discovered about Monroe and Wenman: "the two wired money by Western Union to Caliacan, Mexico, where a main operator with the Manjarraz drug trafficking operation was living in January, March and April 2021. Transfers were usually in the $900 range, and investigators believe the money was the proceeds from drug sales, court records state."

Court records gathered by the Courier say Wenman supposedly obtained meth and helped distribute drugs while Monroe also obtained meth from an individual in the drug trafficiking organization.

Megan Heying of New Hampton was another individual who has been arrested as part of the two-year investigation.

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