FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC at 410-209-4885
July 13, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OCDETF: WIFE OF DRUG TRAFFICKING LEADER PLEADS GUILTY TO MONEY LAUNDERING
IN EASTERN SHORE DRUG DISTRIBUTION SCHEME
Co-defendant Pleaded Guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute 1 to 3 Kilograms of Heroin
and 5 to 15 Kilograms of Cocaine Hydrochloride
BALTIMORE, Maryland - Wendy Apostolopoulos, age 37, of Salisbury, Maryland pleaded guilty today to money laundering in connection with her husband’s distribution of heroin, cocaine and prescription drugs on the Eastern Shore, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.
According to the statement of facts provided to the court as part of the plea agreement, from 1999 to November 2005 the defendant’s husband, Paul Apostolopoulos, age 36, obtained multi-ounce quantities of cocaine and heroin in New York and Maryland, along with prescription drugs such as hydrocodone and oxycodone. Paul distributed all of his drugs on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, with assistance from Michael Gregory Holl, age 41, of Baltimore and others. Many of the drug distributions took place at Pesto’s Bar and Grill, which was owned and operated by the defendant and her husband. Many of the payments from drug customers were commingled with the income generated at Pesto’s Bar. Drug transactions also occurred in other businesses and residences associated with the defendant and her husband, as well as residences used by Holl and others.
Paul Apostolopoulos provided cocaine to Wendy Apostolopoulos for her personal use. On three separate occasions from December 2002 to April 2004, Wendy wire-transferred a total of $3,479 in drug proceeds on behalf of Paul, which monies were ultimately provided to Paul’s narcotics sources.
Wendy Apostolopoulos faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of the greater of $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved in the transaction, and three years of supervised release. U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett has scheduled sentencing on September 29, 2006.
Holl pled guilty on July 11, 2006 to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine. According to his plea agreement, Holl worked as a cook at Pesto’s Bar and Grill, where he sold cocaine daily at Paul’s direction. From 2002 to the fall of 2005, Holl distributed and/or possessed with the intent to distribute between one to three kilograms of heroin and between five to 15 kilograms of cocaine hydrochloride. Holl faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a minimum sentence of 10 years, a $4 million fine and five years of supervised release, and is scheduled to be sentenced on September 22, 2006 at 2:00 p.m.
Holl sold cocaine and prescription drugs, including oxycodone, to attorney Christopher Llinas, age 40, of Berlin, Maryland. On July 14, 2005, the day of Paul Apostolopoulos’ arrest and execution of various federal search warrants, Holl and Llinas removed cocaine from Pesto’s Bar and Grill to prevent law enforcement from obtaining the drugs. Llinas pled guilty to obstructing a drug investigation on June 28, 2006. Llinas faces a maximum sentence of 20 years, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. Llinas is scheduled to be sentenced on September 22, 2006 at 11:30 a.m.
Also on June 28, 2006, Paul Apostolopoulos pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine, and conspiracy to engage in money laundering. Paul also pled guilty in a separate case to transporting stolen goods, which he committed while on pre-trial release for the drug charges contained in this case. According to his plea agreement, 3 to 10 kilograms of heroin and 15 to 50 kilograms of cocaine were distributed and/or possessed with intent to distribute from 1999 to 2005, which amounts were reasonably foreseeable to Paul. Paul faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a minimum sentence of 10 years, a $4 million fine and five years of supervised release for the drug conspiracy charge; 20 years in prison, a fine of the greater of $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved in the transaction, and three years of supervised release for the money laundering conspiracy; and 10 years in prison followed by three years supervised release for transporting stolen good. Paul is scheduled to be sentenced on September 15, 2006 at noon.
Under their plea agreements, Paul and Wendy Apostolopoulos have agreed to forfeit to the United States Pesto’s Bar and Grill and other real property and assets, totaling in all over $500,000.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the investigative work performed in this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Baltimore District Office, Salisbury Post of Duty; the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office, Salisbury Resident Agency; and the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation. Mr. Rosenstein also thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Christine Manuelian, who prosecuted the case.
This page last modifiedJuly 13, 2006