TWO PLEAD GUILTY TO MONEY LAUNDERING
Jackson, Miss - On Monday, March 18, 2013, Bridget Michelle Bland, 44, of Forest, and Willie Charles Rhodes, 54, of Brandon, pled guilty in U.S. District Court to money laundering the drug proceeds of Forest, Mississippi drug dealer, Jessie Hall, announced U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis. Bland also pled guilty to causing a business to file a false report to the Internal Revenue Service.
Bland and Rhodes will be sentenced on June 6, 2013. The maximum penalty for mo
ney laundering is 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. The maximum penalty for the IRS reporting violation is five years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
Three co-defendants in this case previously pled guilty to money laundering: Shannon Denise Hall, 41 of Forest, Sylvania Laranda Young, 41, currently of Jackson, and Jessie Hall, 39, of Forest. All five defendants participated in an extensive scheme to launder the drug proceeds of Jessie Hall through his business operating as Hall’s Trucking. Numerous assets were acquired through Hall’s drug trade and given the appearance of legitimate wealth through the business. Over $900,000 was found to have been laundered over a two year period.
The Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division and the Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the criminal investigation of the financial affairs leading to the current indictment. The Drug Enforcement Administration, in conjunction with officers from the Ridgeland Police Department, Jackson Police Department, Hinds County Sheriff’s Office, and the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, initially investigated the drug trafficking organization of Jessie Hall. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Darren LaMarca.
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