California Man Sentenced To Twenty Years For Money Laundering Role Laundering Role In Narcotics Trafficking
“Every citizen deserves to live free from the fear of gang-related crime and violence,” said John C. Richter, United States Attorney. “As shown in this case, many of these defendants moved to Oklahoma City and affiliated with local gang members to facilitate local drug trafficking. This office, and our federal, state and local partners, particularly the Oklahoma City Police Department, are committed to aggressively prosecute those gang members and their associates who breed crime, violence, and fear in our community.”
“DEA will not tolerate criminal gang members infiltrating our community in order to peddle their poison.” said James L. Capra, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration. “We will continue to aggressively pursue, investigate and bring to justice all members of these violent organizations. This investigation is a painful reminder of how vicious and ruthless the drug trade has become.”
sentence demonstrates to the American public that IRS Criminal Investigation’s
commitment goes far beyond investigating tax crimes,” said Erick
Martinez, Special Agent in Charge for the North Texas and Oklahoma
Field Offices. “Our Special Agents are called upon to use their
financial skills and expertise to unravel criminal enterprises, such
as in this case. IRS Criminal Investigation will aggressively pursue
those that conduct illegal activities to ensure that criminals are
In 2001, defendants who were members of the Los Angeles based street gang known as the Compton Varrio Tortilla Flats moved to Oklahoma City and associated with members of a local street gang. The defendants arranged for members of the Compton Varrio Tortilla Flats gang to bring large quantities of crystal methamphetamine and cocaine to Oklahoma City for redistribution.
Cooperating defendants, witnesses and confidential informants all provided information that led to surveillance, arrests, search warrants, and the seizure of significant quantities of crystal methamphetamine and cocaine. Investigators were able to document the importation of additional quantities of crystal methamphetamine and cocaine into Oklahoma prior to the investigation. The organization was held accountable for a total of 42 lbs. of crystal methamphetamine, conservatively estimated to have a “street” value of over $3.8 Million and 5 ½ lbs. of cocaine, conservatively estimated to have a “street” value of over $515,000. IRS investigators documented Western Union wire transfers totaling over $244,000 in drug proceeds between Oklahoma City, California and Florida.
This was a particularly violent drug trafficking organization that used threats and violence to enforce its operation.
The following is a summary of those defendants convicted and the sentence each received:
Two defendants remain as fugitives.
These cases are the result of a joint investigation conducted by the Oklahoma City Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigative Division, and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives. These cases were prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mary M. Smith and Leslie M. Maye.