Two Gardner residents last week were indicted on federal drug trafficking and money laundering.
Gregory Rapp, 30 of Gardner, is charged with one county of conspiracy to distribute marijuana, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and 10 counts of money laundering.
Denise Hurla, 50 of Gardner, is charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute marijuana. Three others were also charged in the 12-count indictment.
The federal indictment alleges that the traffickers laundered more than $200,000 in cash from the sale of marijuana by depositing the money into slot machines and cashing out without playing.
The investigation began when the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission contacted the Kansas Bureau of Investigation about suspicious activity at the Hollywood Casino in Kansas City, Kan.
Investigators observed Rapp and others depositing large sums of money in small denominations in slot machines throughout the casino. They did not play the machines or wager any money. The cashed out without playing and received a ticket voucher for the amount deposited into the slot machines.
They cashed the tickets throughout the casino at automated teller machines and received the value of the tickets in larger denominations.
In November 2013, investigators determined Rapp had not claimed any Kansas earnings or wages since the third quarter of 2011, when he said he was employed at a Jiffy Lube in Overland Park, Kan. Beginning in January 2014 investigators working undercover bought more than two pounds of marijuana from the traffickers.
In February 2014, one of the traffickers showed an undercover officer how to launder drug proceeds though slot machines using $18,000 in KBI evidence buy funds.
If convicted, the defendants face a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on each count.
The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission investigated. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Erin Tomasic is prosecuting.