NEW YORK MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO MONEY LAUNDERING CHARGE STEMMING FROM OXYCODONE INVESTIGATION
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that EMMANUEL BABE, also known as “Manny,” 39, of Mount Kisco, N.Y., pleaded guilty today before United States District Judge Janet C. Hall in New Haven to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
This matter stems from “Operation Blue Coast,” an investigation headed by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Bridgeport High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force into the large-scale trafficking of oxycodone pills from Florida to Connecticut. The investigation revealed that an individual regularly purchased oxycodone from suppliers in Florida, transported the oxycodone to Connecticut by commercial airline or automobile, and sold the pills for profit to various Connecticut-based narcotics dealers. He then transported the proceeds of his oxycodone sales from Connecticut to Florida, either by having a courier drive the money or by using commercial airline flights.
In early 2011, the Florida narcotics trafficker hired BABE to drive large amounts of U.S. currency from New York or Connecticut to Florida. BABE eventually learned that the money he was transporting were the proceeds of the narcotics trafficker’s oxycodone sales in Connecticut. BABE, who was paid approximately $750 for each trip, transported at least $150,000 in cash to Florida in an effort to disguise the source of the funds.
BABE has been detained since his arrest on September 13, 2011.
Judge Hall has scheduled sentencing for May 1, 2013, at which time BABE faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.
Twenty individuals, including two law enforcement officers and three Transportation Security Agency officers, have been charged as a result of this investigation.
This matter is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Bridgeport High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force, which includes personnel from the Connecticut State Police and the Bridgeport, Milford, Norwalk, Stamford and Westport Police Departments; the Drug Enforcement Administration in Florida and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General. In addition, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Greenwich, Monroe, Danbury and Waterbury Police Departments have assisted the investigation.
U.S. Attorney Fein also acknowledged the cooperation of the Westchester County Department of Public Safety and the Florida Highway Patrol, and the substantial assistance provided by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida.
This case is being prosecuted in the District of Connecticut by Assistant United States Attorneys Rahul Kale and Tracy Lee Dayton.
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