Mexican National Pleads Guilty To Drug Conspiracy And Money Laundering
On August 30, 2013, Jesus Esquivel-Cervantes, a/k/a “Gordo,” a/k/a “Pandita,” 33, a citizen of Mexico, who most recently resided in St. Louis, Missouri, pled guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, Distribution of Methamphetamine, and a Money Laundering Conspiracy, Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today. Sentencing has been set for December 20, 2013. Penalties that can be imposed at that time are 10 years to life in prison, a fine of up to $10,000,000, not less than 5 years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment on both the Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine and the Distribution of Methamphetamine charges. For the Money Laundering Conspiracy, Esquivel-Cervantes faces up to 20 years in prison, a fine up to $500,000, up to 3 years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment.
The drug conspiracy took place from August 2010 through May 2012, and involved selling cocaine and methamphetamine in the Granite City, Illinois, area. The money laundering conspiracy took place from January 2012 through May 2012, and involved a system of wire transfers to collect and disguise drug proceeds.
Evidence in support of the indictment in this case was obtained in an investigation which was conducted under the auspices of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The OCDETF initiative is designed to bring federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and resources together to identify, target and dismantle large national and international drug trafficking organizations. Participating agencies include the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigations, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office of Homeland Security Investigations (ICE HSI), U.S. Marshal Service, the Granite City Police Department, and the Metropolitan Enforcement Group of Southwestern Illinois. This case is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Donald S. Boyce for prosecution.