McAlester Couple Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering Conspiracy
NOV 20 -- MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA - Sheldon J. Sperling, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, announced today that MICHAEL FRY, age 30, and SHANNON FRY, age 34, both of McAlester, Oklahoma, pled guilty to money laundering conspiracy and conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce to carry on unlawful activities, in violation of Title 18 U.S.C. Sections 1956(h) and 1957(a), Title 18 U.S.C. Section 371 and Title 18 United States Code Section 1952(a)(3).
“Charges arose from an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, the McAlester Police Department and the Internal Revenue Service. A two-count felony information was filed charging the defendants with conspiring with others to launder money and conspiring with others to travel in interstate commerce to carry on the unlawful activities of possessing and distributing methamphetamine, in excess of 500 grams,” stated U.S. Attorney Sheldon J. Sperling. “The defendants waived indictment and pled guilty.”
“The charging document, to which the defendants pled guilty, alleged that from about 1995 and continuing to July 19, 2007, MICHAEL FRY and SHANNON FRY and others engaged in financial transactions in criminally derived property to further drug business and conceal the true source of assets. The defendants and others used a portion of money derived from the sale of methamphetamine to purchase additional methamphetamine,” U.S. Attorney Sperling stated.
“Additionally, they invested a portion of the proceeds of their illegal drug sales in assets in such a manner to obscure and hide the true source of the money. As part of the conspiracy they purchased assets using currency in such an amount, quantity and form so that the true source of the funds used to purchase the assets were hidden from law enforcement. It was further part of the conspiracy that they titled purchased assets in the names of nominee owners to avoid potential exposure to forfeiture provisions of drug and money laundering statutes in an effort to preserve their ill gotten gains,” stated U.S. Attorney Sperling.
“During the same time period the defendants and others conspired to possess methamphetamine for the intended purpose of distribution. It was part of the conspiracy that the defendants traveled in interstate commerce to purchase methamphetamine,” continued U.S. Attorney Sperling.
“The Honorable Steven P. Shreder, Magistrate Judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, in Muskogee, accepted the defendants’ guilty pleas and ordered the completion of presentence reports. Sentencing will be scheduled following their completion. The defendants are in the custody of the United States Marshal Service, pending sentencing.”
“The statutory range of punishment is up to ten (10) years imprisonment and/or fines totaling $250,000.00 for money laundering conspiracy and up to five (5) years imprisonment and/or fines totaling $250,000.00 for conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce to carry on unlawful activities,” stated U.S. Attorney Sperling.
“Assistant United States Attorney Dennis A. Fries represented the government.”
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