FOX VALLEY (NBC 26) — A former Fox Valley restaurant owner will spend 14 years in federal prison for his involvement in a cocaine trafficking conspiracy.
According to the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, 41-year-old Luis A. Morales was the leader of a local drug trafficking organization in the Fox Valley. Authorities said the organization ran from around 2014 until December 2020.
Morales is the former owner of Mr. Taco and Savor Food & Spirits.
A statement from the attorney's office said investigators learned Morales commonly traveled to the Chicago area to obtain large amounts of cocaine. He also frequently traveled to Mexico and Colombia. The Mr. Taco location in Kimberly was often used to distribute and accept payments for cocaine.
After a lengthy investigation, authorities said Morales was arrested during a traffic stop on Highway 41 in Fond du Lac in December 2020. Two kilograms of cocaine were found in his vehicle. Investigators then identified and searched the location of Morales’s source of supply in Chicago where they found an additional 11 kilograms of cocaine and about $80,000 in cash.
Investigators then searched all of his restaurants and found more cocaine, cash, and firearms. Authorities said Morales had direct ties with Cartel Jalisco New Generation (“CJNG”), a violent Mexican cartel.
Morales’s incarceration will be followed by ten years of supervised release. A judge also ordered a money judgment of forfeiture in the amount of $150,000 in addition to the approximately $145,000 already seized and forfeited.