Federal Criminal Trial Resumes in Laredo Federal Court For Three Men Accused of a Cocaine Trafficking Conspiracy

July 23, 2013

Laredo Morning Times on July 23, 2013 released the following:

Three stand trial in alleged cocaine trafficking conspiracy

By César G. Rodriguez
Laredo Morning Times

Three men are standing trial this week in federal court before U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo, accused of taking part in a cocaine trafficking conspiracy.

An indictment filed June 27, 2012, charges Enrique Mendez, Carlos Flores Sr., and Carlos Flores Jr., with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a quantity of at least 5 kilograms of cocaine. Mendez faces additional charges of money laundering conspiracy and obstruction by threats of force while Flores Sr. faces an added charge of possession with intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine.

Robert Flores, Homeland Security Investigations special agent, took the stand as the first witness. He talked about several surveillance instances which implicated a man identified as Elbert Figueroa and the Floreses. Federal authorities identified Figueroa as the person in charge of the connections in Mexico and the transportation cells in Laredo. Figueroa would pick up cocaine and stash it to later be moved to Atlanta. He was also in charge of receiving drug money to later be taken into Mexico. Money seizures included sums in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Agents arrested Figueroa in 2010 on conspiracy and cocaine charges. He’s yet to be sentenced.

Part of the conspiracy was to recruit individuals to perform various functions critical to the success of the organization. An indictment states that people assisted in the storage, loading, transportation, unloading, conducting surveillance and delivery of drug shipments. During the conspiracy, commercial tractor-trailers had to be used to transport cocaine from Texas to Georgia. Drug proceeds flowed down to Laredo to pay for transportation costs and other expenses. The rest of money was headed to Mexico, according to the indictment.

In opening statements, defense attorney Silverio A. Martinez Jr., who represents Mendez, said a man violated his client’s and took advantage of the yard at KCM Transportation, 645 Rancho Peñitas Road, owned by Mendez. Martinez said truckers are not supposed to fill the trailer with illicit items.

About the “kidnapping” or obstruction by threats of force allegation against Mendez, Martinez said that was false. Martinez told jurors they’ll hear testimony that the alleged victim was at a ranch cooking out and drinking beer with an illegal immigrant. The victim had his vehicle’s keys in his pocket and was never kidnapped.

Martinez told jurors that Figueroa was protecting the real “boss” in hopes that’d reduce his sentence.

The trial resumed at 8:30 a.m. today.”

————————————————————–

Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


FBI Says Cartel Used Bank of America to Launder Money

July 9, 2012

Bloomberg Business Week on July 9, 2012 released the following:

“By Joe Schneider

The brother of the alleged leader of a Mexican cocaine-trafficking cartel used Bank of America Corp. (BAC) accounts to invest the organization’s drug proceeds in U.S. racehorses, a FBI agent said.

Jose Trevino-Morales, one of 14 people indicted by a federal grand jury in Texas on June 12, used a personal account and a business account under the name of Tremor Enterprises LLC to buy and sell horses using money generated from cocaine trafficking, extortion and bribery, Jason Preece, a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, said in a June 11 sworn statement filed in federal court in Dallas.

“The ultimate goal of this money laundering operation was to provide Jose Trevino with apparent legitimate assets purchased and maintained by illegally obtained money,” Preece said. Bank of America isn’t accused of any wrongdoing in the agent’s statement.

Details of the transactions were revealed in a probe of the Los Zetas drug cartel, which according to the filing, funnels thousands of kilograms of cocaine into the U.S. each year. Los Zetas is the biggest drug cartel in Mexico, in geographical presence, and controls 11 states in the country, generating millions of dollars of revenue, Preece said in the statement filed in a bid to gain a search warrant for Trevino’s property.

Strong Procedures
“We have strong anti-money-laundering procedures and work closely with the authorities when suspicious activity is discovered,” Larry Di Rita, a spokesman at Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America, said in a phone interview today.

The bank doesn’t comment on any specific legal and customer cases, he said.

Preece filed the statement to support his request for court permission to search Trevino’s property in Balch Springs, Texas, a Dallas suburb, where he said investigators were likely to find horse ownership records, bank statements and cellular phones used to communicate with Los Zetas.

Trevino, who earned $29,000 in 2009 from Texas Stone and Tile LLC, had expenses of $200,000 a month the following year to support his horses, according to an FBI informant who isn’t named in the filing. The drug cartel had bought at least $4.2 million worth of quarter horses, which are used in short- distance races, over a four-year period, according to the indictment.

The two most well-known horses Trevino had were Tempting Dash and Mr. Piloto, according to the filing.

Mr. Piloto won the All American Futurity race in 2010 at Ruidoso Downs Race Track, with Tremor Enterprises’ bank account being credited with $968,440 as a result, Preece said.

Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, 38, leader of the Los Zetas drug cartel, and his brother Oscar Omar Trevino Morales were also indicted by the grand jury.

The defendants are charged in the May 30 indictment with conspiracy to launder monetary instruments. The crime carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

The criminal case is U.S. v. Morales, A-12-cr-210-SS, U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas (San Antonio). The application and affidavit for search warrant is 3:12-mj-255, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas (Dallas.)”

————————————————————–

Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Manuel A. Munoz-Duran Charged in a Federal Criminal Complaint With Possession of Cocaine With Intent to Distribute

July 18, 2011

The U.S. Attorney’s Office District of New Mexico on July 15, 2011 released the following:

“OHKAY OWINGEH RESIDENT CHARGED WITH FEDERAL COCAINE TRAFFICKING OFFENSE

ALBUQUERQUE – This morning in federal court in Albuquerque, a United States Magistrate Judge found that there was probable cause to support a criminal complaint charging Manuel A. Munoz-Duran, 48, with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. MunozDuran, a Mexican resident, resides within the boundaries of the Pueblo of Ohkay Owingeh, but is not a member of the pueblo. If convicted, Munoz-Duran faces a maximum penalty of twenty years’ imprisonment and a $1,000,000 fine. Munoz-Duran entered a not guilty plea during this morning’s proceedings, and waived his right to a detention hearing. He is detained pending trial.

United States Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales said that Munoz-Duran was arrested as part of an investigation brought pursuant to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Safe Trails/Safe Pueblos Initiative and Southwest HIDTA’s Native American Project (NAP) funded through the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). Through these two initiatives, federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies work together to promote a comprehensive law enforcement and community supported partnership that seeks to eliminate drug trafficking and substance abuse in the Pueblos of Santa Clara, Ohkay Owingeh and Pojoaque, which are located in New Mexico’s Espanola Valley.

According to the criminal complaint, on July 5, 2011, New Mexico State Police officers executed a search at Munoz-Duran’s residence in the Pueblo of Ohkay Owingeh, in Rio Arriba County. During the search, the officers found over 14 ounces of cocaine in Munoz-Duran’s basement. In addition, officers found narcotics trafficking paraphernalia and firearms ammunition on Munoz-Duran’s property.

This case was investigated by the FBI, the Espanola Police Department, New Mexico State Police, and Immigration Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mark T. Baker.

A criminal complaint is only an accusation. All criminal defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read The Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

Bookmark and Share