Sisters Charged with Distribution of Methamphetamine and Money Laundering
Las Vegas, Nev. – Federal charges have been filed against two sisters alleging that they conspired to distribute over 100 pounds of methamphetamine in the Las Vegas area and laundered over $160,000 of drug proceeds through their bank accounts and safety deposit boxes, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.
Melba Lozoya-Mendoza, 35, and Llasmin Lozoya-Mendoza, 25, of Las Vegas, were indicted today on one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, two counts of possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute, one count of distribution of methamphetamine, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. They were arrested on April 20, 2010, following the filing of a criminal complaint, and are currently in federal custody awaiting trial. If convicted, they face at least 10 years in prison and a $4,000,000 fine.
In 2008, members of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) in Las Vegas began an investigation targeting the illegal distribution of methamphetamine. According to the court records, on April 16, 2010, a federal agent working undercover as a drug runner, purchased approximately one pound of methamphetamine from Melba Lozoya-Mendoza outside the hair salon she worked at in Las Vegas. On April 20, 2010, prior to the sale of additional methamphetamine to the undercover agent, task force officers pulled Melba Lozoya-Mendoza over in the car she was driving for a traffic violation, and recovered approximately two pounds of methamphetamine from the car. Federal agents executed a search and seizure warrant at the apartment where Melba and her sister Llasmin Lozoya-Mendoza resided, and recovered approximately 20 pounds of methamphetamine from the master bedroom which Melba shared with her 14-year-old son. Agents also located information related to six bank accounts and two safety deposit boxes at Wells Fargo Bank, and it was further determined that Llasmin Lozoya-Mendoza was employed by Wells Fargo Bank. Federal agents executed search warrants for those accounts and safety deposit boxes, and recovered $167,332.