LAWRENCE MAN SENTENCED TO 48 MONTHS FOR LAUNDERING $315,000 IN DRUG MONEY
BOSTON, Mass. - A Lawrence man was sentenced to four years in federal prison for his role in laundering $315,000 in drug money.
In July 2010, FREDDY ARIAS-CARTAGENA, 51, pleaded guilty to seven separate counts of laundering drug money. Today, U.S. District Judge Joseph L. Tauro sentenced him to 48 months in federal prison. In court, Judge Tauro said that these crimes were serious, and rejected defense counsel's request that the defendant be sentenced to time served, or one day in prison. At the conclusion of the hearing, Judge Tauro also rejected defendant's request to self-surrender and ordered the United States Marshals to take ARIAS-CARTAGENA into custody immediately.
ARIAS-CARTAGENA guilty plea arose from a joint IRS/DEA investigation beginning in 2007, involving the laundering of drug money. In that investigation, law enforcement authorities made extensive use of a cooperating witness (CW), who had numerous recorded meetings with ARIAS-CARTAGENA during which the CW indicated that he needed to wire drug money to the Dominican Republic to pay his cocaine source. Over the course of the next 14 months, the CW made six separate deliveries of money represented to be drug proceeds to ARIAS-CARTAGENA and his co-conspirators, in the Lawrence area, totaling approximately $315,000. ARIAS-CARTAGENA then used his shipping business, ARIAS Shipping & Towing to wire the purported drug money to the Dominican Republic. The money was then picked up in the Dominican Republic (minus ARIAS-CARTAGENA's percentage fee) by a DEA undercover agent several days after being given to ARIAS-CARTAGENA.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation-Boston Field Division, and Steven W. Derr, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New England Field Division made the announcement today. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Zachary R. Hafer and George W. Vien of the U.S. Attorney’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.