Monday, March 12, 2018

75 busted in massive drug and money laundering involving Sinaloa cartel

Some of the $6 million dollars seized
Federal prosecutors in San Diego have indicted 75 people nation-wide, including 40 in San Diego, in a massive drugs and money laundering operation. The defendants laundered drug proceeds from the Sinaloa cartel for years amounting to tens of millions of dollars in the past three years. 32-year-old Jose Roberto Lopez-Albarran was leader of the organization and oversaw a large network of people dubbed "money movers" who shuttled huge amounts of cash around the country, picking up drug sale proceeds for eventual transfer to Mexico.

The mover stashed the cash in hidden compartments of vehicles, or in cash-stuffed duffel bags, luggage, even shoe boxes.
Cash was then deposited in banks using so-called "funnel accounts." Such accounts are set up at U.S. banks that can receive deposits from multiple states. The money is deposited in chunks of less than $10,000.The money would then be wire transferred to Mexican bank accounts for bogus Mexican companies controlled by the cartel.

The organization used code words as well as WhatsApp, a messaging application, to communicate about the money movements and transfers.