News and Press Releases


TUESDAY - September 30, 2008


RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court here today United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle sentenced RICARDO ARCE, 33, of Rocky Mount, North Carolina, to 140 months’ imprisonment followed by three years supervised release.

A Federal Grand Jury returned a Superseding Criminal Indictment on May 28, 2008. On July 23, 2008, ARCE pled guilty to money laundering. On September 5, 2008, a controlled transaction occurred, in which an undercover officer posing as a drug trafficker entered El Mexiquense, located in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, and asked to wire money to Atlanta, Georgia, without filling out the proper paperwork. The undercover officer made it clear that he had drug proceeds he wanted to transfer to an account in Atlanta, Georgia. The attendant in the store then contacted ARCE to arrange for the transaction. The following day, ARCE instructed the undercover officer to deposit the money into ARCE’s business account and then ARCE would transfer the money ($14,000) to a bank account in Atlanta. On September 13, 2008, the undercover officer again contacted ARCE to wire money ($14,300) through ARCE’s business.

This case is part of the investigation entitle Operation Trip Wire.

Mr. Holding commented on the importance of this investigation: “In order to obtain and fully eliminate drug trafficking organizations, law enforcement must target all aspects of the system that facilitates their crime. As such, investigators must focus on those that help drug traffickers handle their many and repatriate drug proceeds overseas. That is what this case was all about.”

Investigation of the case was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office, and the Rocky Mount Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Michael G. James served as prosecutor for the government.


News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at within 48 hours of release.

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